The National Women's Soccer League is in "advanced discussions" with potential ownership groups to bring new franchises to Boston, Utah and the San Francisco area, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The Boston and Bay Area groups are prepared to pay record-setting franchise fees of about $50 million, due to the huge interest in team ownership and the league, per the report. The Utah ownership group will pay between $2 million and $5 million due to a previous decision by the league.
Officials of the NWSL, which has 12 teams, would not confirm the report.
"We remain engaged in our expansion process and are excited about our prospects," a league spokesperson told the newspaper. "When we have news to share, we will do so."
Before the 2022 season, the NWSL added Angel City FC in Los Angeles and the San Diego Wave. Those ownership groups paid between $2 million and $5 million, per the report, but since then, the Washington Spirit were sold for $35 million.
San Francisco and Utah would begin play in 2024, with Boston joining later, per The Wall Street Journal.
Boston previously had a pro women's soccer team, the Breakers, who played in the Women's United Soccer Association and Women's Professional Soccer leagues, both defunct. The team also was part of the NWSL in the league's first five seasons before folding in 2018.
The Utah Royals were part of the NWSL from 2018-20 but became the Kansas City Current in December 2020 after allegations of a toxic work environment emerged against former owner Dell Loy Hansen. At the time, the NWSL agreed a franchise could return to Utah later at a set fee.
--Field Level Media