18+ | Commercial Content | T&Cs apply | Begambleaware.org
The first ever women's football stadium is about to open and in this article we will give you all the details about CPKC Stadium.
Women’s football has enjoyed a sharp rise in popularity over the last few years. FIFA estimate that there are 29 million women and girls playing football across the world, and they aim to have 60 million playing by 2026.
Here in the UK, thanks to the Lionesses and an influx of world-class players into the WSL, engagement with the game has skyrocketed. But the women’s game is arguably not yet quite on the level that it is in the US, who have the most decorated history at the international level.
It is perhaps no surprise, then, that the world’s first ever dedicated women’s professional football stadium is about to open in the US. Step forward, Patrick and Brittany Mahomes, Kansas City Current and the CPKC Stadium…
CPKC Stadium: The breakdown
When it opens in March of this year, CPKC Stadium – so-called because of its sponsor, railway company Canadian Pacific Kansas City – will boast a capacity of 11,500.
Announced on 26 October 2021, contractors J. E. Dunn Construction Group and Monarch Build broke ground on 6 October 2022 in Berkley Riverfront Park, which is just north of Kansas City’s centre. Upon completion, it will have cost $117 million (£91.5 million) to build.
The stadium will include a safe standing section and is designed so that all seating is positioned within 100 feet of the pitch.
Its construction allows for further expansion up to 20,500 seats, and it can also be converted for music concerts.
In a nice touch, the stadium’s press box is dedicated to Grant Wahl, the football journalist from Kansas City who died while covering the 2022 World Cup quarter-final between the Netherlands and Argentina in Qatar.
Kansas City Current: The background
The team lucky enough to be playing at the CPKC Stadium will be Kansas City Current, who were founded on 6 December 2020.
They were born out of the Utah Royals, who had to cease operations after their owner Dell Loy Hansen, who also owned men’s side Real Salt Lake, criticised players who chose not to play MLS matches out of their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
KC Current were founded and are co-owned by Brittany Mahomes, former professional footballer and wife of NFL star Patrick Mahomes. The Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback, as of 10 January 2023, is now also a co-owner.
The Current compete in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the top tier of women’s football in the US, and enjoyed their most successful season in 2022 when they reached the NWSL Playoffs but were beaten in the final by the Portland Thorns.
Now coached by Vlatko Andonovski, former manager of the US women’s national team, they currently play their home games at Children’s Mercy Park, which has a seated capacity of 18,467 and is the home of MLS side Sporting Kansas City.
What do Kansas City Current say about CPKC Stadium?
In promotional material supporting the stadium, Kansas City Current say: “We have an unwavering commitment to become the best women’s football club in the world. Through brave actions, we are raising the bar for our players, our fans and our community.”
Co-founder and co-owner Chris Long told press that “We really view this as a community asset.”
“From the beginning, our vision has been to create a player-first experience, and facilities for our team that match not only the elite level of these incredible athletes, but also the passionate support of the Kansas City metro and our fans.”
Fellow co-founder and co-owner Angie Long believes in the stadium as a long-term project, saying she “sees room for expansion in the stadium, as well as the ability to hold future events, such as concerts and other sporting events – soccer and otherwise”.