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NWSL expansion: Stadium renovation plans renew focus on Boston

(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

A stadium in Boston is set to be renovated and could serve as the home of a new NWSL team, the Boston Globe reports.

White Stadium, situated in Franklin Park, seats 10,000 people in one of the largest open spaces in the city. The City of Boston announced on Tuesday a request for proposals that would allow a private entity to lease and fund the renovation of one half of the stadium. The city would then fund the construction of the other half, as well as training and fitness areas, physical therapy facilities, locker rooms, community space and offices for the Boston Public Schools Athletics’ Department.

“That would be an incredible opportunity for Boston Public Schools and the opportunities for young people to see, up close, the city add another championship team and to see athletes at that level with women’s soccer taking off around the world,” Mayor Michelle Wu told the Boston Globe.

One group, called “Boston Unity,” has been attempting to bring a NWSL team to the city since the league revealed its expansion plans last year. While the NWSL recently announced expansion teams in the Bay Area and Utah, Boston has been rumored to be among the final groups for a new team.

They’ve since struggled to find a viable stadium to play in, but that’s one hurdle that could soon be solved.

“White Stadium is one of Boston’s most important community resources, and we’re excited by the prospect of having it serve as the home for Boston’s future NWSL club,” said Jennifer Epstein, controlling owner of the investment group behind Boston Unity.

The city’s proposal has a list of requirements for the winning bid, among which is a 10-year lease agreement from the city. Annual rent would cost at least $400,000. The winner must also prioritize availability for BPS students and the Franklin Park community.