A general view of an official game ball during the NWSL Draft Jan 12, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; A general view of an official game ball during the NWSL Draft at Pennsylvania Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is expanding and it appears that we now know where their newest teams will be playing.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the league is in “advanced discussions” to expand by three franchises, two of which will pay around $50 million in franchise fees, a stunning amount compared to previous payment requirements to enter the soccer league.

The new franchises will play in Boston, Utah, and “San Francisco Bay Area.” The WSJ says both the Bay Area and Boston teams are paying that increased fee while the Utah owners will pay between $2 million and $5 million per an agreement that was reached years ago.

The Bay Area and Utah teams will begin to play in 2024 while the Boston team’s inaugural season remains TBD. Once they’ve all started playing, the NWSL will include 15 teams in total.

The league wouldn’t confirm the news of expansion when asked but said they’ll make an announcement when ready.

“We remain engaged in our expansion process and are excited about our prospects,” a league spokesperson said. “When we have news to share, we will do so.”

The news of league expansion was seen as a major positive by many in the soccer world, with the huge expansion fees being a point of interest. For many, it not only points to the increased value of the league and women’s soccer but also at the potential for a WNBA expansion franchise and the fees that will come with that.

The news was also a welcome change of pace for NWSL announcements, which have mostly been about gross misconduct amongst coaches and executives in the league.

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.