Kansas City Current Honor Soccer Legend with naming of Grant Wahl Memorial Press Box at CPKC Stadium Kansas City Current

Kansas City Current Honor Soccer Legend with naming of Grant Wahl Memorial Press Box at CPKC Stadium

The Kansas City Current is honoring one of the most influential members of the Kansas City and worldwide soccer community by naming the press box at CPKC Stadium, the first purpose-built stadium for a women’s professional team, the Grant Wahl Memorial Press Box. To commemorate the moment and Wahl’s significant contributions, the Current hosted a small ceremony Thursday in which a memorial plaque was placed at the entrance to the press box.

“Grant and I were born and raised here in Kansas City and our lives were shaped by the sports culture in this region, but more specifically, by those who told those stories through the media,” said Eric Wahl, Grant’s brother. “This is a great honor to our family. I hope that those journalists that come through this press box will see Grant’s dedication to telling the personal, challenging and compelling stories of this sport and its athletes, then seek to celebrate and elevate them through stories he would be proud to hear.”

“My family and I are thankful that my husband Grant Wahl is being recognized in this way,” said Dr. Céline Gounder. “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 grew up in Mission, Kansas and attended Shawnee Mission East High School before heading to Princeton University. Wahl, a close friend and confidant of Current co-founders and owners Angie Long and Chris Long, has a long history with the couple having initially met Angie at Shawnee Mission East and Chris at Princeton. Their friendship with Wahl was pivotal to the launch of the Kansas City Current.

“Grant was one of the first people we consulted with the idea of founding an NWSL team in Kansas City,” said co-owner and founder 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.” 

“Giving us even more conviction around our facilities vision, Grant was particularly drawn to the idea of having the first stadium built for a women’s professional team right in his hometown of Kansas City,” said co-owner and founder Chris Long. “The Kansas City Current will always be grateful to Grant for his pivotal role in the launch of the Club.”

Growing up in Kansas City, Wahl was already a fan of soccer from his days of watching the Kansas City Comets at Kemper Arena. At Princeton University, he began to write about the beautiful game, covering the Tigers men’ s soccer team. 

His career ignited when he began covering basketball and soccer for Sports Illustrated (SI) in 1996. He wrote over 50 cover stories for the magazine during his time there and covered every major soccer event around the world. With a reputation for asking the right questions without provocation or accusation, Wahl was respected by his peers just as much as by the athletes he covered.

Wahl led SI’s dedicated soccer section, Planet Fútbol beginning in 2013. After leaving SI in 2020, Wahl continued to cover worldwide soccer and the U.S. National Teams for his own website, while he was also provided his insights for Fox Sports, CBS Sports and numerous other outlets. During his career, he covered eight Men’s World Cups, four Women’s World Cups and five Olympic tournaments. 

During every home match this past season, the Kansas City Current honored Wahl by placing a Grant Wahl Current custom jersey in a memorial seat in the press box.



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