There's new recognition that women's soccer is good business. That's according to Alexi Lalas, the former U.S. soccer star who is now an analyst with Fox Sports. He believes the influence of business and brands have been crucial to the vitality of women’s soccer, saying the sport “can’t get by on just cheering” anymore.
“Whether it’s the NWSL, FIFA and what they’re doing with the World Cup, people are realizing there’s gold in them women’s soccer hills,” Lalas said. “That’s a good thing, because if it’s just cheering, or being altruistic and quote-unquote doing the right thing, you’re never going to put in the full effort it deserves, and it absolutely deserves it.”
All indications are women’s soccer is moving well beyond the cheering phase. As it rebounds from scandal, the National Women’s Soccer League announced expansion to its 13th and 14th cities this year. Bay FC, the new club in the San Francisco Bay area, is paying a record $53 million expansion fee.