The Kansas City NWSL soccer team is moving up the road for home games next season.
The National Women’s Soccer League franchise, which currently shares Legends Field in Kansas City, Kan., with the KC Monarchs independent-league baseball team, will play its 2022 home matches at Sporting KC’s nearby stadium: Children’s Mercy Park.
Playing all home matches in the neighboring Major League Soccer venue is the latest piece of big news for a club that relocated to KC and re-branded from the Utah Royals to KC NWSL this past offseason.
KC NWSL also recently announced intent to build and complete next year a new $15 million training facility in Riverside, a Kansas City, Mo., suburb located just north of downtown.
“We are incredibly grateful to (Monarchs ownser) Mark Brandmeyer and the entire Legends Field staff and crew for making our Inaugural season so special,” KC NWSL founder and co-owner Chris Long said in a statement. “They stepped up in a monumental way when we brought the team to Kansas City last December and had to be on the field in only 140 days. Mark and his staff are forever a part of our history and KC NWSL family, helping create a memorable first season for our fans.”
Children’s Mercy Park, a soccer-specific stadium that opened in 2011 with a price tag of $200 million, currently operates under a 10-year naming-rights agreement with Children’s Mercy Hospital that was signed in November 2015. It is operated by Sporting KC and owned by Kansas Unified Development, LLC.
It seats 18,467 for soccer matches and about 25,000 for concerts, and KC NWSL played its home opener there this spring.
— Children's Mercy Park (@cmpark) September 22, 2021
The U.S. men’s and women’s national teams have played at Children’s Mercy Park on numerous occasions. CONCACAF Champions League, Gold Cup, FIFA World Cup and Olympic-qualifying matches have also taken place there since the venue opened in 2011.
The Village West or Legends area of KCK is an established sports hub that also includes Kansas Speedway, which traditionally plays host to two NASCAR Cup Series events annually.
“We are thrilled to move our home matches to Children’s Mercy Park,” KC NWSL chief operating officer Amber Cox said in a statement. “When the opportunity materialized for the 2022 season to move to one of the best soccer stadiums in the world, we felt it made sense, especially given our player-first approach.
“We’re excited to offer soccer fans in Kansas City a full menu of both men’s and women’s soccer at Children’s Mercy Park in 2022.”
The team is also expected to announce a permanent name, replacing the generic “KC NWSL” moniker, this coming offseason.
KC NWSL’s next game is Sunday at the Washington Spirit (4 p.m. Central Time). The club’s next match at Legends Field is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 2 against the Houston Dash.
Undefeated in its last four appearances but 2-11-5 overall so far this season, KC NWSL will close out its 2021 campaign at Legends Field with four home matches there in October.