Kansas City National Women’s Soccer League’s plans to build a $70 million, 11,000-seat stadium represent one of the biggest strides to date in Berkley Riverfront’s reimagining from a literal dumping ground to a dense, walkable neighborhood with a mix of uses for residents and visitors.
Announced Tuesday morning, the privately financed stadium becomes the riverfront’s largest known development by valuation. KC NWSL has signed a 50-year ground lease with the Port Authority of Kansas City for 7.1 acres fronting the Missouri River, in a culmination of discussions that began between the parties within weeks of the team owners’ December announcement that they would return professional women’s soccer to Kansas City.
Scheduled to open in 2024, KC NWSL’s facility is thought to be the first in the world built specifically for a top-division women’s team. The stadium’s design also includes a restaurant and sports bar at its entrance, plus a bar and fan gathering area to the north, facing the river.
The stadium joins hundreds of apartments under construction or in planning for at least three complexes, beyond the completed 407-unit Union Berkley Apartments, plus a proposed boutique hotel with fitness-oriented concepts and Bar + Rec, a recreational beer garden with sand volleyball courts and a winter ice rink.
KC NWSL’s facility eventually could catalyze other development, too.