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NWSL Awards Boston Expansion Franchise

Last Updated: September 21, 2023
The Boston NWSL team marks the return of women’s pro soccer to Beantown and is slated to begin play in 2026.

The NWSL is coming back to New England. The league announced on Tuesday that it has awarded Boston an expansion franchise that will begin play in 2026. The club will be the 15th NWSL franchise, following the additions of two other NWSL expansion teams earlier this year, Utah Royals FC and Bay FC, which are both slated for their inaugural seasons in 2024.

This will be the third professional women’s sports team in Boston and the first women’s soccer club since the Boston Breakers called Beantown home from 2001 to 2018. Now, women’s soccer makes its triumphant return at a moment when the sport has not only increased in popularity but also boasts a new generation of soon-to-be legends.

There’s a lot to look forward to in terms of the club ownership. Boston Unity Soccer Partners describes itself as an “all-female core ownership group.” It’s shepherded by Juno Equity Founder/Boston Celtics minority owner Jennifer Epstein. Stephanie Connaughton, Ami Danoff, and Anna Palmer will be managing partners. The club will also be the first investment from Monarch Collective, the group led by Kara Nortman and Jasmine Robinson that focuses exclusively on investment in women’s sports.

“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,” Commissioner Jessica Berman said in a statement. “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.”

The partners have also drafted a proposition to refurbish White Stadium in Franklin Park. That will be the club’s home base and the upgrades will cost $30 million, per the Boston Globe.

Berman, Boston Unity Soccer Partners, and Mayor Michelle Wu will make the official announcement Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET from City Hall. However, Wu already expressed her excitement with remarks of her own.

“As the City of Champions, Boston sets the standard for athletic excellence and fans’ devotion to our teams. It’s fitting and absolutely thrilling for Boston to be a home for women’s soccer, hosting a franchise that will partner so closely with our community and especially our schools,” she said. “I look forward to the revitalization of White Stadium and the partnership of this team and league to create new opportunities in Franklin Park and for our student-athletes citywide.”

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About The Author
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. She began her career in sports journalism with bylines at SB Nation, USA Today, and most recently Yahoo. She received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Truman State University, and when she's not watching old clips of Serena Williams' best matches, she is likely perfecting her signature chocolate chip cookie recipe or preparing a traditional Cameroonian meal.