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CPKC Stadium, It’s a Big Deal

History is about to be made right here in Kansas City. In a month CPKC stadium is opened for the KC Current and changing the world.



For four years I was the head soccer coach for a women’s team at a small midwestern college. We weren’t particularly good, but we also weren’t really supported by the institution. Our practice “field” was sort of flat and I was responsible for painting any lines that I wanted with an old-fashioned machine (I would get my toddler children out there helping me every couple of weeks for another set of hands).

We would play our home matches several miles away at a parks & rec facility with no scoreboard, no bleachers, and worst of all, no locker rooms. For our away matches, we’d travel all over this part of the country and experience the full range of amenities. Sometimes we’d be “spoiled” by actually having a facility with showers, but more often than not, our team would have to use the bus as the locker room.

I’m sharing these experiences because if there is anyone out there who understands the significance of having a quality stadium to call your own, it’s women like those I coached. Even if on paper we should have been just as good as a given opponent, if we were on the road and playing in a quality facility, inevitably we would walk onto the pitch a little intimidated.

And I know that there is a difference between a small college team and a top-flight professional team, but honestly in terms of support, infrastructure, and facilities the difference hasn’t been that much. About a decade ago, FCKC was one of the inaugural teams of the NWSL and was playing at the Shawnee Mission District school stadium. The seating capacity of 6K was the third largest in the league. That team, in the midst of winning championships by the way, then shifted to the SKC practice facility which they expanded to be able to seat 3.5K.

For the last couple of years, the Kansas City Current have been able to use Sporting Park for home matches. That’s an excellent stadium to be sure, but it’s not theirs. They have never had scheduling priority and I can only imagine that the team would have always felt like guests, even in the home locker room. Additionally, while I am not aware of the specifics in any deal allowing the KC Current to play at Sporting Park, absolutely any revenue generated through ticket sales (and concession sales, etc.) at home matches would be a fraction of what it could be if they owned the stadium themselves. Building a competitive women’s sports team in a landscape so skewed towards male athletics is challenge enough, but doing so when you don’t even get to keep and reinvest much of the revenue you generate further hamstrings the process.

Here’s the thing, though: our hometown team is about to redefine what is possible—perhaps even what should be the expectation—for professional women’s sports. In one month, the KC Current open CPKC Stadium and usher in a new era. No longer will home matches be played against a Sporting blue backdrop with rabid supporters filling up the Cauldron. Teal will be splashed everywhere, and the supporters will get to create unique traditions and identities. For a long time, Sporting Park was the gold standard for soccer stadiums in the US and Kansas Citians are rightly proud of it. But opening CPKC is on another level entirely. This town, this team is doing something that hasn’t really been done anywhere in the world…ever.

There are a lot of reasons why KC can rightly claim to be the Soccer Capital of America: hosting the World Cup and COPA America and demolishing St. Louis City SC in last year’s playoffs among them. The biggest reason, though, is what is happening on March 16. This city is about to be one of one. Perhaps it won’t stay that way for long, but we will forever be the first.

Interest in women’s athletics is (finally) spiking. People are paying thousands of dollars to watch Caitlin Clark; the Professional Women’s Hockey League is in its inaugural season; the WNBA season had its highest viewership in 21 years last summer; the NWSL is embarking on its rapid growth period while the USL Super League is about to join them as a top-tier American soccer league.

And speaking of American women’s soccer, we all watched as the rest of the world caught up to and passed us by during last summer’s World Cup. English and Spanish women’s leagues are attracting some of the world’s best talent. If the US hopes to regain its spot atop the soccer world, it’s going to require steps like what Kansas City is taking right now. If a team like the KC Current is able to offer a state-of-the-art facility all their own (and if the league continues to increase what teams can pay players), there is no reason why KC can’t/won’t establish itself as the most attractive destination for the best domestic players and the best from around the world.

Yes, the 2023 season was rather forgettable and yes, the team made some unpopular decisions this offseason, but despite all that I couldn’t be more excited for this season to begin. This will be one that goes down in the history books.

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