Kansas City women’s soccer team is getting a first-of-its-kind stadium
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Rent the Runway starts trading, Canada maintains a gender-neutral cabinet, and Kansas City will get a stadium just for women’s soccer. Have a wonderful Wednesday!
– Build it and she will come. All those multi-million dollar sports stadiums that mark cityscapes, each and every one, was built for a men’s team.
In the words of Angie Long, co-owner of Kansas City’s National Women’s Soccer League team: “Shocking, right?”
Long and her husband Chris, along with fellow team co-owner Brittany Matthews, an entrepreneur and fiancée of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, have set out to change that, according to a new report in the Wall Street Journal. They’re planning on building a $70 million, 11,000-seat privately-funded stadium for their team that will open in 2024. (The team’s permanent name will be announced at halftime of a game on Saturday.)
Most teams in the pro league share a stadium with their male counterparts or play at college or multi-purpose venues. As the Journal reports, universities are bound to build women’s sports facilities by anti-discrimination laws, but no such measures are in place at the professional level, leading to what’s thought to be a total dearth of stadiums constructed for women.
Chris Long told the Journal he and his wife couldn’t even find examples overseas.
“How is that possible, that there aren’t others?” Angie Long says. “It’s about time.”
The commitment the new stadium represents looks past the NWSL’s recent scandals, in which players have alleged toxic work environments and accused star coach Paul Riley of sexual coercion. (He says most of the claims are untrue and denied having sex with his players.) Commissioner Lisa Baird resigned over the controversies and the league’s handling of them.
Angie Long says she’s bullish on fans wanting to pay money to watch the women’s game. “That isn’t going away. That’s growing,” she says.
We often cite the discrepancies between women’s and men’s sports—base salaries, prize money, that pathetic excuse for a weight room—but towering stadiums anchored by men’s teams are an especially blatant example. In Kansas City, at least, a temple to women’s sports will dot the skyline too.
The Broadsheet, Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women, is coauthored by Kristen Bellstrom, Emma Hinchliffe, and Claire Zillman. Today’s edition was curated by Claire Zillman.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this post misspelled the name of new Canadian foreign minister Mélanie Joly. We regret the error.
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