Now Open: CPKC Stadium, Home of KC Current

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
CPKC Stadium opened March 16 for the KC Current, the professional women’s soccer team in Kansas City, Mo. (Screen Grab Courtesy of CPKC via LinkedIn video post)

CPKC Stadium opened March 16 for the KC Current, the professional women’s soccer team in Kansas City, Mo. (Screen Grab Courtesy of CPKC via LinkedIn video post)

One of the first stadiums purpose-built for a women’s professional sports team opened March 16 under the banner of Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC), which last fall reported signing a 10-year naming rights agreement with the National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) Kansas City (KC) Current.

The Class I railroad, which has its U.S. corporate headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., has also lent its name to the outdoor space at stadium’s entrance. The CPKC Plaza will host gatherings before events including KC Current matches, other sporting events and concerts. It will also house the permanent location of the KC Current team store.

The 11,500-seat stadium—the first built specifically for a professional women’s soccer team—is located at the 17-acre Berkley Riverfront Park, and is part of a 50-year lease agreement with Port KC, according to the CPKC Stadium website. Privately funded, its construction cost was approximately $117 million; primary design and construction partners were Generator Studio, JE Dunn and Monarch Build.

CPKC on March 16 reported on LinkedIn: “Before today’s historic inaugural game at the new CPKC Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., we were thrilled to present the KC Current a special gift – their very own Mini Train modeled after the original CPKC Little General, a ¼ scale model of a locomotive and train. This one specially built for the KC Current and the team’s fans! (Screen Grab Courtesy of CPKC via LinkedIn video post)

On March 16, prior to CPKC Stadium opening to the public for the first regular season KC Current home game, CPKC presented the team with a new specially designed mini-train, modeled after CPKC’s Little General mini-train. CPKC’s mini-trains visit communities across the company’s network to help raise awareness of rail safety.

According to CPKC, with every goal scored by the KC Current this season, both at home and away, the Class I railroad will make a donation to the Adelaide C. Ward Women’s Heart Health Center at the University of Kansas Health System. Through its Goals for Heart initiative, CPKC Has Heart will provide funding to help women access testing that helps identify their risk of developing coronary artery disease, the railroad reported.

CPKC Stadium opened March 16. (Screen Grab Courtesy of CPKC via LinkedIn video post)

“Congratulations to the entire Kansas City Current organization and the people of Kansas City on this history-making achievement,” CPKC President and CEO Keith Creel said March 16. “CPKC has been a long-time champion of women’s professional sports and investing in our communities. Today, we proudly build on that legacy with this barrier-breaking stadium opening. We look forward to supporting the team as they reach new levels of success here in Kansas City.”   

“As we continue our mission to be the best women’s football club in the world, we know opening day at CPKC Stadium is monumental,” said Angie and Chris Long, who are co-owners with Brittany Mahomes and Patrick Mahomes of the KC Current, which in December 2020 was awarded an expansion franchise by the NWSL. “It takes powerful partnerships to accomplish that goal, so we want to thank CPKC for their dedication to women’s sports and to our club, and we look forward to embarking upon this incredible journey of the inaugural season in our new home.”

The KC Current beat the Portland Thorns 5-4 in the March 16 opener.

(Map Courtesy of KC Streetcar)

The KC Streetcar line is scheduled to extend to the Berkley Riverfront Park in 2025 (see map above). It will connect from downtown Kansas City at 3rd Street and Grand Boulevard in the River Market, travel on the existing Grand Avenue Viaduct, and end near the park’s midpoint. The Kansas City Streetcar Authority, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Port KC and city of Kansas City have teamed to deliver the project.

CPKC reported last fall that it will be involved in the KC Current’s community initiatives. In 2023, the railroad helped to renovate the STEM Lab at East High School, a Title I school and the biggest high school in Kansas City, just four miles from the new stadium. More than 40 languages are spoken at East, representing students from 42 countries and making it one of the most diverse schools in the metro area.

“We are incredibly proud to sponsor the Kansas City Current and support this history-making project here in the city that is at the heart of our North American rail network,” CPKC President and CEO Keith Creel said when the naming rights contract was announced Oct. 19. “CPKC has been a longtime champion of women’s sports and of investing in our communities. This stadium and this partnership with the Current will build on that legacy as together we write a new chapter here in Kansas City.”

Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern in 2023 merged to form CPKC, which is also the title sponsor of Golf Canada’s Women’s Open, the lone stop in Canada of the LPGA tour, since 2014. The tournament has raised more than $19 million in support of children’s heart health. 

“As we embarked on finding the perfect naming rights partner, it was always about finding an organization where our values and vision align; CPKC is that partner,” KC Current Co-founders Angie and Chris Long said Oct. 19. “Our organizations share a commitment to strive for excellence, invest heavily in our communities and raise the bar with global influence. We are extremely excited to work with CPKC on this historic agreement and know our partnership will create long-standing positive impact!” 

KC Current and KC Streetcar in March 2023 launched a new co-branded streetcar. (Photograph Courtesy of KC Current)
(Courtesy of KC Current)
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