Setting a new bar for women’s sports. That’s the goal for KC Current’s new home, as the team gets ready to break ground on a new facility set to be the first soccer stadium purpose-built for a women’s pro team.
Appropriately for such a landmark facility for the National Women’s Soccer League squad, more than 60 percent of the KC Current project leads and designers from Henderson Engineers are women. Two of those women include Andrea Mulvany (bottom), principal in charge of the project, and Katelyn DePenning (top), the day-to-day project manager. They were first approached about a potential new stadium while working on the team’s training facility.
“At the time, the project was still under an NDA so we couldn’t discuss it but we were asked about a proposal for a new stadium,” Mulvany said. “This was last summer, but it wasn’t announced publicly until late September.”
“I had friends we have season tickets to the Current and they kept asking me if they were getting our stadium and I couldn’t say it straight out,” DePenning said. “I had to be very vague in responding like they sure deserve one, don’t they.”
The new stadium is located near Berkley Riverfront Park on a seven-acre site. It’s part of a 50-year lease agreement with Port KC. The team says the project is expected to cost about $117 million with seating for 11,500. The team adds construction with generate $95 million in economic output and create more than 1,100 jobs.
Both Mulvany and DePenning have both worked on previous projects with Henderson Engineers, such as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Acrisure Stadium and Kansas State University’s Bill Snyder Family Stadium. But they say translating their skills to a women’s sports facility is pretty cool.
“What we do doesn’t change because we’re giving the same service to them as we do on other projects,” DePenning said. “But for me, it’s awesome to see the investment in women’s sports so the passion behind it is a little stronger. I’ve worked at Henderson for 11 years on everything from convenience stores to restaurants to other sports projects. It feels like everything has come full circle and everything has lined up so I can do this. It’s so important for women and I have a son and two daughters. In 10 to 15 years, we can go to a game and they’ll say our mom helped build this. That’s going to be pretty cool.”
“Soccer is huge in Kansas City and my kids play. For my daughter, this is the first year they get to have goalies and play different positions,” Mulvany said. “I’m seeing her leadership develop on and off the field because of soccer and I know this might not be something in her professional life but if she does, we’re helping build the path for them.”
The two make sure every building systems design detail, from electrical to plumbing, is accurate. They also ensure the project is staffed appropriately at Henderson to support the project schedule. They’ve already successfully delivered that once in the form of the KC Current’s training facility, which was also a first in women’s sports and has received rave reviews.
“We saw videos of the team walking into that training facility for the first time and it was cool seeing their reactions knowing that was built just for them,” Mulvany said.
“The U.S. Women’s National Team actually practiced there and they were posting videos saying way to go KC and these facilities should be everywhere,” DePenning said. “This stadium just sets that bar even higher.”
Renderings courtesy KC Current and Generator Studio. Photos courtesy Henderson Engineers.