SBD/April 12, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Let's Try This Again: Third Shot At A Pro Women's Soccer League Begins This Weekend

The National Women's Soccer League, the "third incarnation of a women's professional soccer league" in the U.S., kicks off its first season Saturday night with eight teams, according to Melissa Murphy of the AP. The league is "partially financed by the U.S. Soccer Federation, along with the Canada and Mexico soccer federations, which will pay some of the salaries." Most of the teams will "compete in venues that seat between 3,000 and 6,000." NWSL Exec Dir Cheryl Bailey said that the league "will announce a TV deal soon." For now, fans can "view live streaming and archived games on YouTube." Bailey said that the NWSL is "in the final stages of landing a major apparel sponsor to help promote the league." With the NWSL, U.S. Soccer "looks to keep players in the spotlight between" the Olympics and FIFA World Cup (AP, 4/11). Portland Thorns F Alex Morgan said that for women's soccer "to sustain itself this time, it will take a commitment from everyone who wants to see it succeed." Thorns COO Mike Golub said that season-ticket sales for the team "have topped 7,000, and he expects more than 11,000 to attend the home opener" April 21 against the Seattle Reign. Golub: "After that, we'd be surprised if we're not averaging more than 10,000, which would be terrific." He added, "The Thorns have their own group of sponsors. Many of them are also [MLS] Timbers sponsors, but some are new sponsors" (PORTLAND TRIBUNE, 4/12).
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