Bay Area awarded NWSL expansion team for 2024 season


Editor's note: This story first appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

A new professional women's soccer team will be calling the Bay Area home.

The National Women's Soccer League announced Tuesday it awarded expansion rights for a 14th franchise to an investment group representing the region. The new club will begin play in the league in the 2024 season.

"The number of bids and the increase in the league’s expansion fees are indicative of both the demand that exists for women’s soccer in the professional sports landscape and the validated growth trajectory of our league," NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman said in a statement. "We said at the start of the expansion process in July 2022 that we would be intentional in seeking out strong markets and ownership groups that not only had the structural integrity for our league to thrive, but also demonstrated a genuine commitment to investing in and creating first-rate organizations on and off the pitch. I am confident that this ownership group and market will help us deliver on the league’s continued transformative growth and success and look forward to watching the Bay Area club kick off in 2024."

Sixth Street is the new Bay Area's soccer team majority investor and has partnered with four former U.W. Women's National Team players in Brandi Chastain, Leslie Osborne, Danielle Slaton, and Aly Wagner, who originally launched the effort to bring an NWSL expansion team to the Bay Area.

The club's board will also feature Sheryl Sandberg and Rick Welts, former Warriors president and COO.

Aly Wagner, one of the founders for the U.S. Women's National Team, has been working for two years to bring women's professional soccer to the Bay Area.

Wagner said the new team is poised to ride NWSL's 11 years of momentum and attendance that is growing year-over-year.

The team plans to build a world-class training facility and eventually a stadium of its own. More information on where the team will play, their name and colors will be unveiled in the months ahead.

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