Sep 19, 2023 - Sports

Boston Unity brings women's soccer back to town

Illustration of a seagull standing on a soccer ball.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

It's official. Boston will have professional women's soccer again.

Driving the news: The Boston Unity Soccer Club will take the field in 2026 as part of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), Jennifer Epstein, controlling manager of Boston Unity Soccer Partners said on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The league will bring professional women's soccer back to Boston for the first time in nearly a decade.

  • The new team's owners plan to repair the dilapidated, 78-year-old White Stadium in Franklin Park, which is still used for summer camp, football games and track meets.

Flashback: The Women's United Soccer Association brought in the Boston Breakers in 2000. The Breakers played in that league until it folded in 2003, followed by a subsequent one until 2012, before joining the NWSL as a founding team.

What they're saying: "We intend to build a championship-caliber team that is a perennial contender," Epstein said at a press conference.

  • "We strive to create a legacy for women's sports in Boston and reestablish what a successful Boston sports team can look like within our city."

Between the lines: The news of the stadium rehabilitation comes to Boston soccer fans who for years have yearned for a local venue to watch professional soccer. Up to this point, that has only meant the men's team, the New England Revolution.

Zoom out: The NWSL, which will soon expand to 16 teams, has seen major growth recently.

What we're watching: This $30-million overhaul marks the biggest investment in White Stadium in years. While it has remained in use, a fire destroyed the East Grandstand in the 1990s.

  • The refurbished stadium would also be used for Boston Public Schools athletics, city officials say.
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