The National Women’s Soccer League plans to make some changes for 2023 and beyond.
At the league’s board of governors meeting in New York City on Tuesday and Wednesday, the league announced several upgrades and improvements:
* Video Assistant Referee will be added to the league next year, which also will including more referee training
* An investment will be made to improve broadcasts, which will include better cameras
* And the league will move its offices to NYC in September
“This week’s meetings have underscored what I have believed from my first day on the job; the NWSL will be the tip of the spear in driving transformational change in the professional sports landscape in this country,” commissioner Jessica Berman said in a statement. “I’ve spent the first three months of my tenure with the league on a listening tour speaking with hundreds of stakeholders, from owners to partners to players to fans.
“The overwhelming theme was that while we have challenges to address, we have infinite opportunities to unlock our potential that will serve our players and the millions who support them around the world. We are aligned around sustained investments to serve our league, a bold strategy to continue our growth, and a commitment to deliver the greatest product in professional soccer.”
Among the topics discussed this week were plans for long-term investment in league broadcast operations as well as immediate improvements. Beginning in August 2022, the league will invest the necessary resources to upgrade all Paramount+ and Twitch broadcasts to include higher quality cameras, infrastructure, and staff to deliver an improved production and take advantage of a streaming audience that has grown 24 percent, year over year.
Among other topics covered:
* The NWSL also announced it will be working with sports, media, and entertainment investment firm Inner Circle Sports, who will represent and advise the league on expansion with an intent to expand to 14 teams in 2024.
* The board approved a new set of NWSL expansion rules with the goal of maintaining parity across the league and ensuring long-term success of new and existing teams. A full list of updated rules for the 2023 NWSL Expansion Draft will be available at a later date.
Other positive business metrics for 2022 were also reported, including a doubling in paid attendance, year over year, an increase in league sponsorship of 87 percent over 2021 and social media followers across all platforms have grown by 28 percent.