The NWSL is expanding. The league is said to be in advanced discussions to expand into the Boston, Utah and San Francisco Bay Area markets, according to The Athletic.
Both Boston and San Francisco will pay around $50m in expansion fees, while owners in Utah have an agreed-upon amount from a few years ago that ranges anywhere from $2 to $5 million.
“We remain engaged in our expansion process and are excited about our prospects,” a league spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal and other outlets. “When we have news to share, we will do so.”
NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman previously stated that “over 30 investor groups” were interested in joining the league, before narrowing it down to two additions for the 2024 season.
San Francisco and Utah will likely be the two newcomers, beginning play in 2024, while Boston awaits launch.
Among those supporting the Bay Area team are former USWNT figures Brandi Chastain, Aly Wagner, Leslie Osborne and Danielle Slaton. San Francisco has never had an NWSL team, with Angel City in Los Angeles and the San Diego Wave standing as the only two current California teams.
The two sides kicked off in 2022, and saw massive success in their inaugural NWSL campaign.
Both Utah and Boston, however, have previously had professional teams. Utah Royals FC previously played in 2017, before being rebranded and transferred to Kansas City in December 2020 with the promise that the franchise would be revived at a later date.
While in Massachusetts, the Boston Breakers featured in the NWSL for five years, but folded in 2018.
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