Next year is already old news, as we know two teams coming to the NWSL for 2024 will be Utah and the Bay Area, but two more are expected to be added in 2026, according to commissioner Jessica Berman.
We here at Gaming Society love a bit of expansion news, so let’s share where I think the NWSL should go next.
Some reports are already suggesting that Boston is far along in the process of joining in 2026. The NWSL isn’t unfamiliar with Boston, as the Boston Breakers operated in the league from 2013-2018. A return of the Breakers would be fun, and the fans certainly deserve it, but there are some immediate hurdles, such as where the team would play.
The new NWSL CBA has stipulations on minimum stadium capacity and also must be equipped with enough cameras for VAR. However, Boston fans are deeply loyal, and sometimes rabid, and a team in Boston in this NWSL could develop one of the best game atmospheres on the east coast.
This just quite simply needs to happen. And not “Atlanta” like where the Braves moved to which is really Cobb County, we mean Atlanta, Atlanta. Women’s college soccer in the SEC has grown significantly over the years, with Alabama having its best finish last season and Georgia luring back homegrown talent Croix Bethune who was previously at USC.
Atlanta United, an expansion MLS team, kicked in the door when they entered the league. The stadium was packed and loud, and they won the MLS Cup in their second season of existence. An Atlanta NWSL team could have a similar impact if the right investment group came along. We already know soccer works in that market, if the investment is there to make the team competitive early on (and they find a way to sign local/homegrown legends), matchdays would be parties.
This one is totally driven by the investment in, and success of, the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces. The Aces won the championship last season and spent this offseason adding even more talent to their squad. While their front office has been slapped on the wrist for doling out ‘impermissible player benefits,’ we think a fine use of the money they’re willing to spend could go to adding an NWSL franchise.
Now that leagues are no longer terrified of Vegas, they’re all trying to get there. A Vegas NWSL team that is well-funded could be a delightful combination of good as hell and tacky as hell at the same time. In fact, I would welcome it. Neon on the shirts, Cirque du Soleil providing halftime entertainment, residency acts putting on concerts or singing the national anthem (that we should really stop doing before domestic games but I digress) – the possibilities are endless, and I want all of them.