The NWSL is headed to the Bay Area.
On Tuesday, the league announced a second expansion franchise for the 2024 season, awarding rights for what will become the 14th team in the league to a San Francisco-area group.
“Northern California has been a key generator of women’s soccer talent throughout the history of the sport, and the Bay Area is a top-ten media market known for its diverse culture and vibrant ecosystem of creativity and innovation,” the league said in a release.
The Bay Area club and the returning Utah Royals are both set to begin play in 2024.
“The Bay Area is where this all began,” said U.S. women’s national team legend Brandi Chastain, one of the club’s lead investors. “We are as excited about what this club will achieve on the field of play as we are for what it will represent for generations of women athletes and professionals yet to come.”
Majority investor Sixth Street leads a stacked lineup. Sixth Street has investments in Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and the San Antonio Spurs, and is also partnered with the New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys.
“Sixth Street is making the largest institutional investment in women’s professional soccer to date as the NWSL experiences record-breaking viewership, attendance, and sponsorship growth,” the league’s statement read.
The group has partnered with former USWNT stars Chastain, Danielle Slaton, Leslie Osborne and Aly Wagner. All were part of launching the original effort to bring a NWSL expansion team to the Bay Area.
They will be dubbed the club’s “Founding Football Four” for their efforts and will work alongside Sixth Street and a majority-women board.
“This is something we’ve been working on for almost three years,” said Slaton, “and to reach this point and officially be accepted into the NWSL is both a dream come true and a motivator, because now it’s time to start building.”
The new club has yet to reveal its name and logo.
The NWSL is officially coming to the Bay Area in 2024!— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) April 4, 2023
The NWSL is officially coming to the Bay Area in 2024!