HomeFootballUtah Scores NWSL Expansion Team Rights

Utah Scores NWSL Expansion Team Rights

Utah Scores NWSL Expansion Team Rights

The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), Global Football Holdings, and Smith Entertainment have collectively announced the anticipated return of the Utah Royals FC to the NWSL in 2024.

The club’s return marks a new era of women’s soccer in Utah, returning after the inaugural Royals team kicked off its short-lived tenure from 2018 to 2020.

Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Real Salt Lake owners, David Blitzer, and Ryan Smith acquired the Utah-based team last year, prioritising the return of professional women’s soccer in the state as part of Real’s expansion.

Commenting on the announcement, club owner David Blitzer, said: “When we acquired Real Salt Lake last year, we said it was a matter of when, not if, the NWSL would return to Utah – This has always been an integral part of our mission.”

Co-owner Ryan Smith, added: “We are excited to expand the ‘One Utah’ family and bring the Royals back to Utah.”

“Having professional women’s soccer back in the state has always been a top priority for David Blitzer and myself, and is very meaningful to us, the fans, our partners, and the entire state,” he said.

The club will be led by president and Real Salt Lake general counsel, Michelle Hyncik, who celebrated the return of the Royals:

“As someone who credits my entire livelihood to my home on the pitch, I will prioritize empowering our Utah Royals players, and the young girls and boys who look up to them, through providing state of the art facilities, resources, staff, engagement, and opportunities to achieve their full potential,” Hyncik said.

The Utah Royals FC now joins Global Football Holding and Smith Entertainment Group’s vast soccer portfolio in Utah as the second USSF-sanctioned first division alongside Real Salt Lake (MLS), and Real Monarchs (MLS Next Pro) in the third division of American soccer.

This news comes after NWSL was announced as the latest edition to FIFA 23.

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