September 20 – The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in the US has awarded a 15th franchise to Boston with the club expected to begin play in the 2026 season.
The new team will be owned by Boston Unity Soccer Partners, a group of predominantly women investors, who reportedly paid $53 million for the franchise. The league said 95% of the invested capital comes from women and 40% from investors of colour.
Jennifer Epstein, Juno Equity Founder and a minority owner of the NBA’s Boston Celtics, will serve as the controlling partner.
“Boston is the greatest sports city in the world, and we are thrilled to bring the NWSL back to this passionate fan base,” said Epstein.
“Our goal is to build a championship-calibre franchise that the city can be proud of, both on the pitch and in the community. We will be relentless and daring in our quest to add another chapter to the city’s unrivaled sports legacy.”
Boston has had a women’s pro team before with the Boston Breakers playing in the NWSL between 2013-17, but struggling on and off the field, playing at three different home stadiums before closing. However that was six years ago and the women’s game commercially is in a very different space.
“There’s a lot of attention on women’s sports right now, a global rise in fandom in not just women’s sports but in particular around women’s soccer,” Epstein told the Boston Globe. “It’s a great moment in time. There’s a lot of momentum in the league.”
Boston Unity Soccer Partners is the first investment for Monarch Collective, the first fund focused exclusively on investment in women’s sports, founded by Kara Nortman and Jasmine Robinson.
Two other NWSL expansion teams were announced earlier this year, Utah Royals FC and Bay FC, who will both begin play in 2024.
The team will play its home matches in a modernised George R. White Stadium in historic Franklin Park in the centre of Boston. Boston Unity Soccer Partners said it is working with the city to invest “significant resources to transform the stadium into a top-tier facility”.
“I’m excited to expand the NWSL’s footprint and continue its transformative growth in our return to Boston, one of the world’s most iconic sports cities,” said NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman.
“We are very proud to welcome Boston Unity Soccer Partners to our ownership group. They bring an impressive roster of business leaders committed to continuing Boston’s legacy of sports excellence and delivering a successful team to a very passionate fanbase.”
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