One of the first stadiums purpose-built for a women’s professional sports team will be named for Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC), which on Oct. 19 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., will also lend 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 being built specifically for a professional women’s soccer team—is under construction at the 17-acre Berkley Riverfront Park, as part of a 50-year lease agreement with Port KC, according to the CPKC Stadium website. Privately funded, it is expected to be completed in 2024 at a cost of $117 million. The primary design and construction partners are Generator Studio, JE Dunn and Monarch Build.
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 that it will be involved in the KC Current’s community initiatives. This year, the railroad is helping 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. “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 earlier this year merged to form CPKC, which is also the title sponsor of Golf Canada’s Women’s Open.
“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,” said KC Current Co-founders Angie and Chris Long, who are co-owners with Brittany Mahomes and Patrick Mahomes of the women’s team in Kansas City, which in December 2020 was awarded an expansion franchise by the NWSL. “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!”