View the original article to see embedded media.
The NWSL is in discussions to expand the league with three new teams that in San Francisco, Boston and Utah, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In doing so, the league would broaden its reach to 15 total clubs, with the teams in San Francisco and Utah starting play in 2024 and Boston starting at a later date.
The teams in the Bay Area and in Boston would pay nearly $50 million in franchise fees that tower over previous payments that teams made to join the association, per the WSJ. The owners of the Utah-based team are slated to pay between $2 million and $5 million.
When Los Angeles and San Diego joined the NWSL in ’20, franchise fees were anywhere between $2 million to $5 million. The success of those teams played an integral part in the league’s interest to expand, according to the NWSL.
The San Francisco-based team is sponsored by Sixth Street Partners, a private-equity firm, as well as former USWNT players, including Brandi Chastain, Aly Wagner, Leslie Osborne and Danielle Slaton. Boston’s bid is supported by a women’s investment group featuring Jennifer Epstein, the founder of Juno Equity and daughter of Celtics co-owner Robert Epstein.
Boston is no stranger to professional soccer as the city was previously home to the Boston Breakers in two different leagues—the Women’s United Soccer Association and Women’s Professional Soccer—as well as the NWSL before the team folded in ‘18.
Like Boston, Utah was also previously the home to women’s soccer with the Utah Royals from 2018 to ’20 before folding and moving to Kansas City in December ’20 when players claimed that the former team’s owner used racist language.
The NWSL will begin its 11th season in March.