On Sunday, the NWSL announced that this year’s NWSL Championship will take place November 20 in Portland on CBS. From the NWSL’s perspective, Portland is a logical place given their average home attendance is more than double of the next highest team and Providence Park is one of the best soccer stadiums in the country.

However, there is one massive problem with the game and it’s that the final will start at noon et. That means locally, the game will start at 9 am pt. The main reason why the game is on so early is because it will be on CBS and there is an SEC football game scheduled at 3:30 pm et. A Saturday in November, no one is expecting the NWSL to get a priority time slot over the SEC on broadcast TV. Noon is available, noon is what the NWSL is going to get.

In addition, the process to host depends on who actually bids for the game. According to The Athletic’s Meg Linehan, Louisville and Orlando had bid but withdrew. Because of that, Portland was the only bid and won by default. So from NWSL’s perspective, they want their biggest game of the year on a platform that’ll be available to the largest number of people. The only place to host the game is in Portland and the only time slot available is noon. To NWSL, they feel they’re stuck in an unavoidable situation that even they would probably admit isn’t ideal.

That being said, it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is still a problem. Not only is this difficult for fans to actually go to the game, it’s going to be even more difficult for the players who will need to get up in the middle of the night to properly eat, hydrate, and warmup for a championship game. This wouldn’t be an ideal situation for a preseason friendly, much less the most important game of the year.

Some players and coaches aren’t pleased about the time of the game (with some criticism on another championship game on artificial turf) and they’re not afraid to make that publicly known.


About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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