The NWSL’s Kansas City Current have announced they will honor Grant Wahl by dedicating the press box in their new stadium after the late soccer writer.
CPKC Stadium, an 11,500 seat stadium that is purpose-built for an NWSL team, will open this spring when the 2024 NWSL season kicks off.
Wahl, who grew up in Mission, Kansas, died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm while covering the quarterfinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. He was on the forefront of soccer journalism in America, first as a senior writer for Sports Illustrated before branching out as a television analyst for CBS and Fox Sports.
Introducing the Grant Wahl Memorial Press Box at CPKC Stadium 🏟️
Honoring one of the world’s most influential soccer journalists, a Kansas City native and a key figure in KC Current’s founding. pic.twitter.com/9mbfbSw22M
— KC Current (@thekccurrent) November 30, 2023
“My family and I are thankful that my husband Grant Wahl is being recognized in this way,” Wahl’s wife, Dr. Céline Gounder, said in a statement. “It is my hope that future generations of sports journalists sitting in this press box will be inspired to carry on Grant’s legacy: holding those in power to account, advocating for human rights and equity and understanding that ‘stick to sports’ is a false mantra. As Ted Lasso said, ‘Soccer is life’. When sports are divorced from everything else in life, they are gutted of their essence and meaning.”
Wahl’s ties to the club go deeper than being raised nearby. He met Current co-founder Angie Long at Shawnee Mission East High School and co-founder Chris Long while at Princeton University.
“Grant was one of the first people we consulted with the idea of founding an NWSL team in Kansas City,” said Angie Long. “His grounded advice, deep understanding of the soccer ecosystem, connections and thoughtful suggestions were critical ingredients to our decision to launch a new team on an unprecedented timeframe.”
The Current honored Wahl during each home game of the 2023 NWSL season by placing a jersey with his name on it in a memorial seat in the press box at Children’s Mercy Park.