Madison tapped for new pro women’s soccer team

Breese Stevens could receive another round of renovations as well.
Madison is slated to get another top-tier soccer team and it looks like Breese Stevens Field is slated to get another round of renovations.
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 7:45 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Madison is slated to get another top-tier soccer team and it looks like Breese Stevens Field is slated to get another round of renovations.

On Tuesday, a start-up women’s soccer league revealed the first cities that will kick off its inaugural season next year. While Madison was not among that group, the Wisconsin capital made the cut to join the USL Super League as part of its first expansion round. Like the other teams in that expansion round, their addition is dependent upon completion of the renovations to their home field.

“It feels like women’s sports are having a moment in Madison, and I’m absolutely here for it,” Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said.

Renovations at Breese Stevens Field would include new locker rooms, bigger stadium capacity and a year-round training facility, according to Vern Stenman, president of Big Top Sports + Entertainment. Renovations for the city property will be a shared responsibility, Mayor Rhodes-Conway said, with costs split among the city, the team and other partners.

Officials did not share cost estimates for the stadium upgrades.

Forward Madison, which part of USL League One, did not wait until Tuesday’s news conference to welcome their new counterparts, taking to Twitter to retweet several versions of the announcement and confirming the new team will be discussed during the noon event.

According to a separate tweet from Madison Women’s Pro Soccer, the yet-named new club will take to the pitch in 2025.

The USL Super League will be a first division league and will follow U.S. Soccer’s sanctioning process, organizers explained.

“Our aim is to make the USL Super League globally recognized and admired for its financial stability, operational excellence, community building and high-level competition,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said.

The league added its goal is to create bring the opportunities available to women on par with those available to men’s players, pointing out that the USA is home of the most successful women’s team on the international stage. Its numbers indicate that, while there are more than 100 professional men’s leagues, there are just a dozen for women.

In Madison, the incoming women’s team would play at a higher level than the men. Forward Madison is in the third division of pro soccer in the U.S., while the women would be playing in the first division.

“The USL Super League will sit at the top of our women’s pyramid with strong ownership groups, modern stadiums, and passionate fans that will deliver immediate viability and long-term sustainability,” Papdakis continued.

Madison’s new team, along with the rest of the league, will play on an international style “fall-to-summer” calendar, which organizers hope will help the USL stand out. It will also create a youth to professional track for players, coaches, referees, and front office employees across the country.

According to the league, the first USL teams will be:

  • Charlotte, N.C.
  • Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
  • Lexington, Ky.
  • Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Spokane, Wash
  • Tampa Bay, Fla.
  • Tuscon, Ariz.
  • Washington, D.C.

The teams included in the first round of expansions are:

  • Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Madison
  • Oakland, Calif.

The league explained the expansion clubs will launch “pending completion of a stadium project.”

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