Patrick Mahomes and wife Brittany swap football for soccer as they attend Kansas City Current’s first game at their new $120m stadium – the first-ever built just for a women’s team

Patrick Mahomes traded football for soccer on Saturday as he and wife Brittany went to the opening of the Kansas City Current’s stadium on the first day of the NWSL season.

Built at a cost of nearly $120million on the banks of the Missouri River, with the downtown skyline just to the south, CPKC Stadium represents one of the few facilities in the world that has been constructed expressly for the use of female athletes.

Patrick Mahomes and wife Brittany went to the opening of the Kansas City Current's stadiumPatrick Mahomes and wife Brittany went to the opening of the Kansas City Current's stadiumChris Long high-fives Mahomes as Brittany and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas look on

The 11,000-seat stadium, almost entirely privately financed, was christened on Saturday when the Current play the Portland Thorns. It didn’t take long for the first goal, either, with the Current’s Vanessa DiBernardo scoring after 22 minutes.

Mahomes and his wife, a soccer player in college, were front and center of the ribbon-cutting ceremony alongside Current chairman and CEO Chris Long, Kansas City mayor Quinton Lucas and NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman.

The couple posted a selfie of them on the way to the game on Instagram, adding 'KC Baby'They made their way down onto the field to check it out before the game started

The couple then made their way into the stadium and down onto the field as the thousands of fans in attendance cheered them.

Most of the 14 NWSL teams in the league rent stadiums, or if they are owned by a Major League Soccer club, play in venues built for the men.

But the vision of the Current’s ownership group, led by Chris and Angie Long and including investors such as Chiefs quarterback Mahomes and Brittany, was to build facilities of their own.

They began with an $18m, purpose-built practice facility, then turned their attention to the stadium, where they could control standards, scheduling and, most importantly, revenue.

The predecessor to the Current, known as FC Kansas City before it folded in 2017, played at various times at a high school football stadium, a college soccer stadium and the training field of MLS club Sporting KC.

When the club reformed as the Current in 2021, it began playing in a minor league ballpark before moving a few blocks over to Children’s Mercy Park, one of the jewels of MLS but a stadium that nevertheless belonged wholly to someone else.

Season tickets have been sold out for months, and the demand for single-game seats is strong enough that some fans already are wondering when the stadium will expand. It was designed so that seats can be added in the future.

Yet the construction of CPKC Stadium – naming rights were sold to the Canadian Pacific Kansas City railway – has not been without detractors.

The 11,000-seat stadium will be christened on Saturday when they play the Portland ThornsSeason tickets have been sold out for months, and the demand for single-game seats is strongYet the construction of CPKC Stadium has not been without detractors amid traffic concerns

Some are concerned about property values and traffic congestion, others a lack of parking; the club recently said spots would cost $50 per match, and many fans took to social media to express their outrage.

The club hopes many take advantage of ride-share options and public transportation to alleviate the parking concerns.

Nor could the timing be better in Kansas City, where a golden age of sports is underway.

The Royals, who won the World Series in 2015, are planning to build a new downtown stadium by 2028 as part of a $2billion-plus public-private partnership.

The Chiefs are coming off back-to-back Super Bowl titles, will try to become the first team in NFL history to three-peat this coming season, and are aiming for an $800m renovation of their own at Arrowhead Stadium.

Sporting KC remains a popular draw, as do several minor league teams in the area, while the NCAA wrestling championships and Big 12 basketball tournaments will soon take place at the nearby T-Mobile Center.

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