Design & Development

KC Current fans treated to 5-4 thriller in CPKC Stadium opener

Featured image credit: Kansas City Current

Kansas City Current played its first match at the landmark CPKC Stadium on Saturday, with a sellout crowd of 11,500 treated to a thrilling 5-4 win over the Portland Thorns.

CPKC Stadium is the first stadium purpose-built for a professional women’s sports team. The Current broke ground on the stadium in October 2022 and the venue has been built at a cost of $117m (£91.9m/€107.4m), the majority privately funded via club ownership.

Vanessa DiBernardo scored the first goal at the stadium in the 22nd minute, and KC Current led the match 3-1 at half-time. The home team added two more goals after the break to make it 5-1, and although the Thorns scored three times in the last 20 minutes, the Current held on for the three points.

Current head coach Vlatko Andonovski said: “I am happy for the three points but I’m so much more excited for the stadium, the atmosphere, and the moment. This is the beginning of the change. This is going to forever change women’s soccer.”

Current midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta added: “I hope that when young girls see this stadium and think that when they get to this age, it’s going to be equal pay, they’re going to have their own locker room, their own stadium. That’s the goal.”

The stadium has been built on a 7.08-acre site on the east end of Berkley Riverfront Park in Kansas City. CPKC Stadium offers intimate fan views with all seats within 100 feet of the pitch.

Railroad company CPKC agreed a 10-year deal back in October for the naming rights to the stadium. Heading into its debut season, the Current has sold out season tickets, with 2,000 seats being made available on a per-match basis.

The Current previously played at Children’s Mercy Park, home of Major League Soccer club Sporting Kansas City.