ArentFox Schiff Advises NWSL on Continued Expansion and Team Sales

ArentFox Schiff served as legal counsel to the National Women’s Soccer League in connection with two recent high-profile transactions: the newly announced expansion to Boston and the sale of the Chicago Red Stars to an ownership group led by Chicago Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts.

Boston Expansion

Earlier this week, NWSL announced it had awarded the expansion rights for the league’s 15th team to a diverse all-female core ownership group in Boston. The group is led by Juno Equity Founder/Boston Celtics Minority Owner Jennifer Epstein, strategic marketer and brand builder Stephanie Connaughton, Women’s Foundation of Boston Co-Founder/CFO Ami Danoff, and Flybridge Capital General Partner Anna Palmer. Monarch Collective, an investment fund focused exclusively on investment in women’s sports, also joined the investment group.

Boston’s NWSL expansion team will begin play in 2026. “I’m excited to expand the NWSL’s footprint and continue its transformative growth in our return to Boston, one of the world’s most iconic sports cities,” Commissioner Jessica Berman said in a statement.

Boston represents the third city awarded expansion rights by the NWSL this year. Earlier this year ArentFox Schiff served as legal counsel to the NWSL in the awarding of expansion rights to a Bay Area investment group led by Sixth Street Partners and a group of four US Women’s National Team legends comprising Brandi Chastain, Leslie Osborne, Danielle Slaton, and Aly Wagner, and on its expansion to Utah with a group led by Smith Entertainment Group and Global Football Holdings.

The ArentFox Schiff team advising on the league’s expansion efforts was led by Stephen Hanson, Hunter Carter, Felicia Xu, Mike Ragan, Scott Gates, and Madeline Roe.

Chicago Red Stars Sale

Earlier this month, NWSL announced the purchase of the Chicago Red Stars by an ownership group led by Chicago Cubs co-owner Laura Rickets.

“These talented and accomplished owners, successful in business, sports, and leaders in the Chicago community, are committed to investing the resources necessary to take the Chicago Red Stars to the next level and enable NWSL to continue our collective growth,” NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman commented in connection with the sale.

The ArentFox Schiff team advising NWSL on the sale was led by Stephen Hanson, Hunter Carter, Felicia Xu, and Scott Gates.

From coast to coast, ArentFox Schiff boasts one of the country’s most experienced and diverse sports law practices, with clients spanning individuals, organizations, and teams involved with major league, minor league, and Olympic sports and Games. The group has extensive experience advising sports organizations, owners, and investors engaged in acquiring and selling professional sports franchises and properties, with significant experience on the buy-side and sell-side.

Smart In Your World
Your goals define our mission. Whether an immediate need or a long-term objective, ArentFox Schiff helps you reach your full potential. As industry insiders, we partner with you to develop practical business strategies and sophisticated legal solutions to achieve today’s targets and anticipate tomorrow’s problems. We get you across the finish line.


Continue Reading