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NWSL will add two expansion teams by 2026 season, says commissioner

Jessica Berman says league will start expansion process at end of 2023.

11 September 2023 Josh Sim
NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman said the league wants to add two more teams by 2026.

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Commissioner Jessica Berman has confirmed the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) will begin its latest expansion process at the end of this year, with the target of adding two more teams for the 2026 season.


  • Berman told reporters the league expects to announce its next broadcast deals during the 2023 postseason
  • NWSL has seen a viewership boost this season, recording 20 per cent for games on CBS and a 50 per cent increase for Paramount+
  • League has also set new attendance records, with more than 1.06 million fans in total attending games across the regular season, with four fixture rounds remaining
  • 11 regular season games had more than 20,000 fans present, up from the total of four in 2022
  • NWSL club Angel City have also announced customer platform Hubspot as a founding partner


The league has already announced Utah Royals and Bay FC as its additions for the 2024 season. Those behind the Bay Area-based team are paying a US$53 million expansion fee, as well as planning to invest an initial US$125 million toward the club and a training facility.


“We will be starting our next expansion process,” Berman said. “It will be a similar process to what we launched when I first began about a year and a half ago, and we will apply similar filters in terms of what our priorities are and thinking about how we select the right expansion market.

“We look at the market, we’ll look at the ownership groups, we’ll look at facilities and we’ll look at the value in terms of what the prospective group is willing to invest to ensure that the team is successful.”

Coming next:

Boston was reported earlier this year as a landing spot for a future team, with Berman declining to comment on the city’s chances of securing a franchise.

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