The National Women’s Soccer League is expanding into Northern California.
Global investment firm Sixth Street is partnering with four former U.S. Women’s National Team players — Brandi Chastain, Leslie Osborne, Danielle Slaton, and Aly Wagner — to bring a team to the Bay Area, NWSL announced on Tuesday.
The expansion fee was $53 million, a source with knowledge of the deal told Front Office Sports — more than 10 times the fee paid for the Kansas City Current, who debuted last season.
The team’s name and the home field weren’t announced, although PayPal Park — home to MLS’ San Jose Earthquakes — is expected to be a likely landing spot.
Sixth Street has made more than $1 billion in sports-related investments over the last two years.
- In 2021, it paid nearly $400 million for a 20% stake in the San Antonio Spurs after the NBA changed ownership rules to allow private equity to invest in teams.
- After Sixth Street acquired a controlling stake in entertainment experiences company Legends, the two companies invested $381 million in Real Madrid last May.
- Sixth Street purchased 25% of FC Barcelona’s TV rights in two different deals worth roughly $500 million last summer.
“The number of bids and the increase in the league’s expansion fees are indicative of both the demand that exists for women’s soccer in the professional sports landscape and the validated growth trajectory of our league,” NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman said.
The Bay Area team and Utah Royals will give the NWSL 14 teams next season.