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Friday, July 12, 2024

The Women’s Soccer Boom Comes to Canada

  • Calgary Foothills FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC will be the league’s founding teams.
  • Canadian soccer legends Diana Matheson and Christine Sinclair are involved in the project.
Canadian women's national team players celebrate after scoring goal
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

A new women’s sports organization is looking to capitalize on the growing popularity of women’s soccer by launching a pro league in Canada.

On Tuesday, Project 8 — co-founded by national soccer hero Diana Matheson and business partner Thomas Gilbert — revealed that a new Canadian women’s pro soccer league will begin play in 2025.

  • Calgary Foothills and Vancouver Whitecaps — whose women’s team dissolved in 2012 — will be the league’s founding teams.
  • CIBC bank and Air Canada are founding partners of the league.
  • Canadian soccer legend Christine Sinclair is involved in the project as an advisor and brand ambassador.

“We’re making this product for everyone who believes in this dream,” Project 8’s website reads. “This League is about creating opportunities for Canadians. Not just for players, but for fans, referees, coaches, and management. We’re here to grow the sport.”

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Global Growth

Project 8 is looking to catch the rising wave of interest in women’s soccer around the world.

The United States’ NWSL set multiple attendance records this season, and its championship game notched record viewership in October. Commissioner Jessica Berman expects “five-to-10 official bids” for the league’s expansion by 2024.

Across the pond, Wembley Stadium has sold out multiple England women’s national team matches — including the 2022 Euro Final and a friendly against the U.S.

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