Heather Mitts wants pro women's soccer to return to Philadelphia
The GIST: Women’s soccer is the next big thing — the NWSL is seeing historic viewership, record attendance, sky-high valuations, and unbeatable brand momentum. So, USWNT legend and Philadelphia hero Heather Mitts wants to build off the game’s unmatched ecosystem by bringing a pro women’s team (back) to the City of
Brotherly Sisterly Love.
The context: The Philly team will be affiliated with the pre-professional USL W League, which plans to launch a Super League with around eight teams next August, making it the first professional women’s soccer league to operate on the international calendar.
- Mitts hopes her team can make its Super League debut in 2025, and envisions it as an ideal place to foster homegrown soccer talent through a cohesive youth-to-pro pipeline, while also drawing international stars. Mrs. Worldwide.
The market: The city’s fans might be rowdy, but from a financial perspective, it’s always sunny in Philadelphia. Philly is the fourth-largest market for major men’s pro sports, but there’s no professional women’s teams in the area, making it women’s sports’ largest untapped market.
- Though two women’s soccer teams have folded in the city, MLS’ Union squad has thrived since 2010, and Mitts would like to recreate the Union’s success by cultivating attendance and building strong youth programs. Third time’s the charm.
The opportunity: Existing leagues offer a lot, but not everything. The USL W Super League hopes to address gaps in the NWSL’s pipeline and schedule, but rather than competing with the league, it could grow with it, à la Athletes Unlimited or Unrivaled for the WNBA. American soccer all day, every day — now that’s a goal.