In The Loop: October 9, 2022
Your connection to Downtown Kansas City
About that KC Current Stadium …
Last Thursday night, our National Women's Soccer League team, the Kansas City Current, celebrated the groundbreaking for its Downtown riverfront stadium, which will be the first in the world built specifically for a professional women’s sports team. Plans are for the team to move their matches to the Berkley Riverfront Park site in the spring of 2024.
In addition to the significance of this historic step forward for women’s sports, the vision of this ownership group, the team, the city, and other collaborating parties may prove to be historic for the development of Downtown as well.
For the time being, and possibly even after the Royals make a probable move Downtown, the Current is “Downtown’s team.”
Kansas City Current
Despite the team not setting foot on the pitch next to the Missouri River until 2024, Downtowners have already embraced the Current as their own, for a number of reasons:
Beyond the obvious appeal of the Downtown location, the stadium is being built with public transportation and personal mobility in mind: Walking, scootering, biking, ride-sharing, busing, and the streetcar will be the way to go.
And speaking of the streetcar, about a year after the stadium will be open, KC Streetcar will extend all the way from the riverfront to near the UMKC campus. Soccer fans from as far south as, say, Brookside will be able to walk to the streetcar, grab a ride to the stadium, and get a return trip after the match — all free.
A planned pedestrian/bike bridge adjacent to Grand Boulevard will provide a safe, dedicated path for people to get from the River Market area to Berkley Riverfront Park (and to the stadium) more easily.
In addition to the planned dining and entertainment options adjacent to the stadium, fans will also be able to pre-game in established Downtown districts such as the River Market, Power & Light, and the Crossroads Arts District — and then walk or take the previously mentioned transportation options to the match.
Those Downtown skyline and riverfront views! The Current will have both. Even if the Royals do build Downtown, the rumored baseball stadium sites probably won’t face the skyline.
Gourmet concessions from chefs Megan and Colby Garrelts of Rye restaurant will be just one demonstration of the level of detail going into creating a top-level fan experience.
Since the U.S. Women’s National Team won the very first Women’s World Cup in 1991, women’s soccer has been on fire in the United States. Add to that Kansas City’s reputation as “America’s Soccer City” — including international television coverage of soccer watch parties at the P&L — and the soccer-Downtown marriage seems to be a great fit.
Similar to the opening of Sprint Center in 2007 (see Almanac section below), the opening of KC Current Stadium will be a physical and psychological boost to Downtown Kansas City and the entire metro area. The soccer stadium is being built to hold 11,500 spectators, but if the team continues to win and the vision for the riverfront meets or exceeds expectations, I’m not sure that will be enough seats.
And now, on to the The Loop….
Happy 15th birthday, T-Mobile Center
On tomorrow’s date in 2007, the Arena Formerly Known as Sprint Center opened to the public for the first time. More than 21,000 people from the metro area and beyond got a chance to enter Downtown’s gleaming, glass centerpiece for ribbon-cutting events that included country singer Garth Brooks (who performed for nine sold-out Sprint Center audiences a few weeks later).
The very first official concert was Elton John, who opened his show with “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” on Saturday, Oct. 13 of that year.
Sprint Center was re-named T-Mobile Center in 2020.
Oct. 11, 2007, Kansas City Star
Surprise, surprise! A treat for your eyes!
A lot of people (including me) didn't know The American Pyrotechnics Association annual convention was being held in KC at the end of last month, so a lot of people (including me) missed seeing this seemingly unannounced and un-promoted fireworks display Downtown last Wednesday.
(For “In The Loop,” we list only large conventions that usually take place at Bartle Hall and Municipal Auditorium, but the pyrotechnics group met at a Country Club Plaza hotel — which is off our editorial radar — so we were unaware they were in town at the time.)
Celebrating books and booze
Check out “Lit on Grand,” a celebration of books and booze Oct. 15 at Afterword Tavern & Shelves in the Crossroads district. The second annual outdoor event begins at 11 a.m. and goes until 4 p.m. Meet more than 35 Kansas City-area writers, poets, booksellers, artists, food vendors, and small businesses. Free and open to the public.
International recognition for Downtown Council of KC
The Downtown Achievement Award of Excellence for the DTC’s resourceful approaches related to the Imagine Downtown KC 2030 Strategic Plan was presented recently at the International Downtown Association’s 68th Annual Conference & Marketplace in Vancouver, Canada. A jury of downtown peer professionals evaluated all entries in the 2022 Downtown Achievement Awards.
Downtown Council staff members celebrate a global award of excellence from the International Downtown Association. DTC staff members (from left) are Sean O’Byrne, Jared Campbell, Ann Holliday, Bill Dietrich, Tommy Wilson, Julie Shippy, and Riley Dietrich.
Historic Northeast Kansas City Homes Tour Saturday
The 9th annual Northeast Kansas City Historical Society fall homes tour will center on the Scarritt Renaissance neighborhood this Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The 2022 tour includes six homes and one church. The $16 tickets are available in advance at the event’s Eventbrite page, or check the link below for details at the tour’s Facebook Event page.
In case you missed it….
On Thursday, we published writer Jomel Nichols’ tour of Downtown Kansas City’s most haunted locations. Be sure to subscribe to make sure that you always receive Loop special features in your in box!
On October 15, 1927, New York Yankee legends Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig stopped in Kansas City as part of their "Bustin' Babes and Larrupin' Lous" barnstorming tour. The two players also made a visit to Mercy Hospital (today known as Children’s Mercy Hospital) when the facility was located at 1750 Independence Avenue in the Northeast district. Proceeds from the game, played at Muehlebach Field at 22nd and Brooklyn, were donated to the hospital.
Artful City: One weekly selection with a Downtown connection
Kollabs (Luis Garcia-Nerey and Anke Schofield), Luke and Leo, 60" x 60" mixed media on panel. On exhibit at Blue Gallery, 118 Southwest Blvd.
Downtown Lens: A single image depicting the urban aesthetic
This bear sculpture, along with a companion bull piece (not pictured), are reclaimed art from the former Gibraltar Building, opened in 1888 near Ninth and Wyandotte and demolished about nine decades later. The pair of animal-themed pieces are now incorporated into the Poindexter Fountain near 9th and Central streets. See the bear and bull here in their original setting on the Gibraltar Building (to the left and the right of the top of the doors). The Loop
Who are all these people?
Answering the question “Who are all these people and where are they going?”, The Loop brings you a list of some of the biggest events happening Downtown each week. Please give a friendly Downtown-Kansas City welcome to audiences and attendees of….
Kelsea Ballerini at the Midland
Last day, Kansas City Symphony presents Strauss' Alpine Symphony at Kauffman Center
Man of La Mancha through Oct. 23 at Music Theater Heritage
MONDAY the 10th
Harriman-Jewell Series presents Orquestra Sinfônica Do Estado De São Paulo with Marin Alsop, conductor, at Kauffman Center
Game Day Experience (football watch party) at KC Live! Block
TUESDAY the 11th
Goose at the Midland
WEDNESDAY the 12th
Phoenix at the Midland
FRIDAY the 14th
Lizzo at T-Mobile Center
Kansas City Ballet presents Giselle through Oct. 23 at Kauffman Center
Cornucopia Fall Festival today through Sunday at Power & Light District
New York Voices with the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra at the Folly
Kansas City Chorale: The Travels of Marco Polo at Kauffman Center
Wonderfuzz at KC Live! Block
SATURDAY the 15th
“Shake, Rattle & Roll: A Celebration of the Folly Theater” featuring Fred Wickham Caravan and Grand Marquis at the Folly
The Zeros at KC Live! Block
Maya the Exhibition: The Great Jaguar Rises, most days through January 1, at Union Station
For a more exhaustive list of everything happening Downtown, go to the VisitKC events page and use the “regions” function to search for Downtown, Westside/Southwest Blvd, West Bottoms, River Market, Power & Light, Crown Center, Crossroads, 18th & Vine — or anywhere you want to go in the KC Metro
For live Kansas City Jazz performances, visit LiveJazzKC.com
Until next week — enjoy the city!
Got a tip or question about Downtown KC?
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Kevin Worley, Co-Publisher/Editorial
Joe Nichols, Co-Publisher/Business
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