New USL Super League Will Launch in August 2024 with Tampa Bay Among its First Clubs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Preston Rudie, Catalyst Communications Group
Lisa Padan, USL Communications
Tampa, FL (May 16, 2023) – A new professional women’s soccer team is set to kick off in Tampa Bay in August 2024. As part of the USL Super League, the new Tampa Bay franchise will compete at the highest level of women’s professional soccer. The team will bring top-tier women’s pro sports to the region for the first time, joining 10 to 12 clubs in the league’s initial market announcement today.
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EDITORS: USL Super League President Amanda Vandervort will join team owners Darryl Shaw, David Laxer, and Jeff Fox at a press conference to discuss the new team on Friday, May 19 at 10 a.m. at Hotel Haya, 1412 E. 7th Ave. in Tampa.
USL Super League Tampa Bay, the team’s ownership group, announced the news today.
“This is about inspiring, energizing, and uniting our Tampa Bay community. We’re ready to build a team that not only wins on the field, but also makes a positive difference off the field. To us, success comes when you become part of the fabric of your community,” said Darryl Shaw, who joins his childhood friends David Laxer, co-owner of Bern’s Steak House, and Jeff Fox, former Chief Information Officer of BluePearl Pet Hospital, as owners of the new team.
USL Super League will be the highest level of professional women’s sports to ever field a team with Tampa Bay on its jerseys. Once it is sanctioned by U.S. Soccer as a Division One league, it will rank on par with other top professional sports leagues and feature players who represent their countries in international competitions such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Olympic Games. Because USL Super League will play from fall through spring, players will be able to balance their commitments to their club and their country.
“When I stepped onto the court in high school as a female athlete, there weren’t a lot of role models out there for me to look up to,” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, a star basketball and volleyball player at Chamberlain High School and the University of Tampa. “Today, women’s sports are exploding in popularity, and our new team will put Tampa Bay at the forefront. This announcement is the start of something special—for our city, for our region, and for so many girls and boys who’ll get to see amazing new role models right here in their hometown.”
The club’s name, colors, and crest will be decided in the future with involvement from members of the public across the Tampa Bay area. An advisory board of community voices and soccer lovers has been created to offer guidance on connecting with the community and delivering a positive impact.
The team will start play in August 2024 in a temporary home until a permanent, soccer-specific stadium can be built. With that stadium, the team intends to create a year-round venue that will be used for a wide range of activities, including opportunities with youth and community soccer leagues and non-soccer events. Engagement with stakeholders and exploration of stadium location and funding options can begin now that the team has been announced.
“This commitment to bring top-tier women’s professional sports to Tampa Bay, in a new stadium where it can truly shine, represents a sincere investment in making this great community even stronger for the future,” said USL Super League President Amanda Vandervort. “The Super League is driven to make world-class professional women’s soccer more accessible for more players, fans, and communities across the U.S., and Tampa Bay’s new team is a key part of that effort.”
The USL Super League is developing the largest women’s soccer network in the world, including:
- 10–12 professional teams in the first season of USL Super League
- 65 pre-professional teams in USL W League this summer
- More than 80 USL Academy programs for elite players under the age of 20
The USL, whose headquarters are in Tampa, also oversees the USL Championship men’s professional league, which includes the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
To stay connected with Tampa Bay’s new team and sign up for updates, visit SuperLeagueTampaBay.com
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