SeatGeek is the new official ticketing platform for the NWSL’s Kansas City Current after the pair signed a multiyear partnership that starts this season. Kansas City is the fourth NWSL team to partner with SeatGeek, joining the Portland Thorns, Houston Dash and Racing Louisville FC.
The new deal is a departure from the Current’s previous relationship with Ticketmaster, which handled ticketing in 2021 during its inaugural season at Legends Field (a baseball stadium in Kansas City, Kan.). The Current will play the 2022 season at Children’s Mercy Park, the home of MLS’ Sporting Kansas City, a longtime SeatGeek partner.
Financial details were not disclosed.
“It’s been exciting to watch the evolution of SeatGeek over the last several years: the addition of new technology, how they continue to make the fan and user experience more and more integrated, really seamless from start to finish,” Kansas City Current COO Amber Cox said in an interview. “The app is really a one-stop shop in so many ways, and we saw it as a great opportunity to partner with them as we move into Children’s Mercy Park, where SeatGeek is already integrated and has been for quite some time now.”
Fans will be able to scan into matches this season directly through the SeatGeek app, which can also provide weather updates, ride options and can facilitate contactless entry. SeatGeek’s technology will also support Kansas City’s back office, giving the club integrated access to fans and a view of ticket demand.
Kansas City averaged just shy of 5,000 fans per game in 2021, but has higher expectations for this year in the new venue—a temporary home until the Current’s own stadium is built. Kansas City’s owners (financial executives Angie Long and Chris Long, and Brittany Matthews, a former college soccer player engaged to Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes) announced plans for a $70 million stadium last fall, the first specifically for an NWSL team. Slated to open in 2024, it will seat 11,000. A $15 million, owner-funded training facility is also under construction.
“Our origins in the in the U.S. began in soccer with our partnership with Major League Soccer and Sporting Kansas City,” Jeff Ianello, EVP of client partnerships at SeatGeek, said in an interview. “So it’s incredibly special now that the Current are moving over to Children’s Mercy Park…. I think maybe the coolest part about this partnership is that Chris and Angie [Long] are season ticket holders of Sporting Kansas City, so they’ve experienced our product from a user perspective, and that’s what they wanted their supporters to experience.”
SeatGeek has deals with MLS, seven of the league’s clubs, the NFL, Dallas Cowboys, Brooklyn Nets, and more than half of the English Premier League’s clubs including Liverpool F.C. and Manchester City F.C.
The Current and SeatGeek said they are discussing whether the deal will continue through 2024 in the new stadium—a move that would likely create additional ticketed event opportunities—but Ianello expressed optimism about its future relationship with the club and the NWSL more broadly.
“We know the property, we know the league very, very well, and we know that soccer is the biggest growth sport out there in the world, and in the U.S. specifically,” Ianello said.
SeatGeek, founded in 2009 as a mobile-first platform, is in the middle of a merger with RedBall Acquisition Corp. (a SPAC formed by RedBird Capital founder Gerry Cardinale and baseball exec Billy Beane) to take the company public. SeatGeek investors include Causeway Media Partners, Carmelo Anthony’s Melo7 Tech Partners, the Dodgers’ Park Ventures and former NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning.
Kansas City begins its second year next month with the NWSL Challenge Cup—kicking off the league’s 10th anniversary season after a tumultuous 2021. The new year brought about a CBA, the league’s first, and the end to a months-long ownership saga in Washington that wrapped just in time for the 2022 campaign to begin.