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Inside the NWSL’s new approach in Boston

The once failed NWSL market returns in 2026 with new owners and a public-private stadium plan that potentially offers a new model, but is not without challenges

Jennifer Epstein (Photo Billie Weiss/Elevate Communications)

Inside the NWSL’s new approach in Boston

Jennifer Epstein still remembers the inception of her latest and perhaps most personal investment: bringing a National Women’s Soccer League expansion team to Boston.

It was July 2022 and Epstein was at breakfast with Anna Palmer, a fellow investor whom Epstein had grown to know through other like-minded projects. The two stood up to leave for other meetings, and Palmer had one last thought to share. A day earlier, Palmer had met with Kara Nortman, a founding member of Angel City FC, which, at that point, was in the middle of its first NWSL season and taking the league and Los Angeles by storm off the field with 15,000 season-ticket holders and a rapidly rising valuation.

Palmer wondered if something similar could be done in Boston. The NWSL was in the middle of formalizing a bidding process for the next round of expansion teams.

“There are not many investment opportunities that cross my desk that make the sparks fly quite in the same way that this one did,” Epstein tells The Equalizer. “It encompasses some of my greatest interests.”

Boston was officially announced as the NWSL’s 15th team on Sept. 19, 2023, several months after the bid was approved by the league’s board of governors. Epstein, whose family holds minority ownership in the Boston Celtics, is the controlling partner of the NWSL team alongside fellow founders Palmer, Stephanie Connaughton and Ami Danoff. (Monarch Collective, an investment company that Nortman co-founded, was also announced as an investor in the Boston NWSL team.)

Boston, which is yet unnamed, will have, by far, the longest lead time of any NWSL expansion team with a scheduled kickoff for the 2026 season. There is much work to be done.

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