Bring the NWSL to Cleveland

State Champs partners with Cleveland Pro Soccer to bring the NWSL to Cleveland

The demand and interest for women's sports has never been higher. Deloitte predicts that women's sports will generate more than $1 billion in revenue in 2024. On the heels of the National Women's Soccer League's (NWSL) latest broadcast deal, the largest deal for any women's sports league – the timing has never been more perfect. 

In the last few years, we saw expansion teams across Los Angeles (Angel City FC), San Diego (San Diego Wave FC), and most recently Utah (Utah Royals FC) and San Jose (Bay FC) with Boston set to join the league in 2025. 

As the interest grows, thus grows the need for more teams. Earlier this month, NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman announced that the process was underway to select a 16th team for the league, with an announcement possibly coming later in 2024.

Cleveland is the last top 20 market it the country without a professional soccer team. Cleveland and Cincinnati are home to three men’s professional teams with Columbus having two of their own. Cleveland, much like the rest of Ohio, loves their sports. 

However, Ohio doesn't yet have a processional women’s team in either basketball or soccer – arguably the two most popular women's sports. 

That's about to change.

The Cleveland Soccer Group and the Rock Entertainment Group have launched a campaign called “Back the Bid," to bring the NWSL to Cleveland.

If you know us, you know we are all for this and will be Day 1 season ticket holders (and one day, investors) in this team.

Women's sports are a crucial piece of State Champs and our ethos. Something we take pride in and have on display across our shop, content, sponsorships, experiences, and the brand itself.

We are excited to partner with Cleveland Pro Soccer to help bring the NWSL to Cleveland in 2026. We have some exciting stuff in the works, including being a part of the LoyalCLE Rewards Card, which features special rewards for Cleveland Soccer supporters. 

Women's sports belong in Ohio.

Women's sports belong, period. 

Back the Bid

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Bring the NWSL to Cleveland

About the “Back The Bid” Campaign 

The NWSL currently has 15 teams and has stated that later this year it intends to run a process to award expansion for the 16th to play in the 2026 season. The NWSL’s expansion to the city would make Cleveland the epicenter of women’s soccer in the region and host to the only major professional women’s sports team in the state.

To secure the next expansion team, it’s critical that we show the league Cleveland is the best market with the best fans, and we’re excited about this campaign because Clevelanders always step up for our great city,” said Cleveland Soccer Group co-founder and CEO Michael Murphy.

Why This Matters

The Beautiful Game
If you are a soccer fan, then you’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time! Now is the opportunity to take action and make the dream of a Cleveland Women’s Professional Soccer team into a reality.

We Support Women Athletes

More Than A Team: With a professional team comes resources. By having a Women’s Pro Soccer Team in CLE means more opportunities for female player development.

A Chance at the Spotlight: A Women’s Pro Soccer Team would provide far-reaching visibility for emerging talent, creating a viable pipeline to pro for female soccer players across Ohio.

Rising Tide: By ensuring our Women’s Pro Soccer Team is at the forefront of pay equality and equal opportunity, we help elevate women athletes across all sports.

A Next Generation of Women Leaders: Having Women’s Pro Soccer as one of the cornerstones of sports in the Land, we show the importance women play in the fabric of our city.

We Support Diversity in Sports

This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land: We support equal opportunities for female athletes, irrespective of their race, ethnicity, or socio-economic background, fostering a fair and competitive playing field.

Invisible to Invincible: We believe it’s crucial to identify and develop talent from underrepresented groups, potentially leading to the discovery of exceptional players who might have been overlooked otherwise.

@ClevelandProSoccer | Back the Bid

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