The National Women's Soccer League intends to add a team and is looking at finalists Boston, Tampa and San Francisco as prospective expansion cities, Sportico reported.
The highest bidder has placed a bid for "well over $40 million" to secure a franchise, per the report.
NWSL expansion candidates
It has not been revealed who is behind the Boston bid, other than it was pitched by female investors, Sportico said. Private equity firm Sixth Street is leading the San Francisco bid, while the Tampa pitch is backed by investors who include Stuart Sternberg, the majority owner of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Four groups presented their plans at the NWSL owner meetings in New York earlier this month, with Cleveland eliminated, Sportico reported, adding the league already has made site visits to the other three cities.
If San Francisco is chosen, it would give California a third NWSL team, following the addition this year of expansion teams Angel City FC and San Diego Wave.
Breaking: The NWSL is choosing between three cities for its 14th expansion team:- Boston
- San Francisco
The highest initial bid is well over $40M, a significant bump from the $2- to $5-million price tags that came with new NWSL clubs as recently as two years ago. pic.twitter.com/3y2YhGYtQp
— Sportico (@Sportico) December 16, 2022
The NWSL currently has a dozen teams, with two more expected to be added in 2024. Sportico said the 13th team "will almost definitely be in Utah," where the new owners of Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer hold an option to add an expansion franchise at the bargain price of about $2 million.
The Portland Thorns and Chicago Red Stars also are for sale.
--Field Level Media