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Report: NWSL will expand to San Francisco, Utah and Boston

(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The NWSL is reportedly going to add teams in Boston, Utah and the San Francisco Bay area, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The league is in advanced discussions to expand with those three teams, with both Boston and San Francisco set to pay around $50 million in expansion fees. Owners in Utah will pay the agreed-upon amount from a few years ago, anywhere from $2 to $5 million.

Both San Francisco and Utah are set to begin play in 2024 while Boston will launch its team later.

“We remain engaged in our expansion process and are excited about our prospects,” a league spokesperson told the WSJ and other outlets. “When we have news to share, we will do so.”

Among those backing the Bay Area team are former USWNT standouts Brandi Chastain, Aly Wagner, Leslie Osborne and Danielle Slaton.

Previously, NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman had said that “over 30 investor groups” were interested in joining the league, and that two teams were going to be added for the 2024 season.

Both Utah and Boston have previously had professional teams. Utah Royals FC entered the NWSL in 2017 but folded and essentially transferred to Kansas City in December 2020. It was agreed upon that the franchise could be revived at a later date.

Boston, meanwhile, was home to the Boston Breakers. The Breakers were part of the NWSL for five years before folding in 2018.

While San Francisco has not previously had a team, both Angel City FC in Los Angeles and the San Diego Wave have experienced successes in their first seasons as expansion clubs.