Well Royals fans, it’s now official, but it does come with a bright side for Utah!
The National Women’s Soccer League board of governors has approved an expansion team in Kansas City to begin play in 2021 with an ownership group led by wife and husband team Angie and Chris Long. Operations of Utah Royals FC will be suspended with all player rights, draft picks, and certain other assets formerly held by Utah Royals FC will be transferred to the new team in Kansas City.
In essence, Kansas City will get an expansion team (to be named soon), and pick up all of URFC’s players and draft picks for this year; but the positive news is that Real Salt Lake’s new owner will have the option to re-establish Utah Royals FC in 2023! NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird recognized Utah fans for their incredible support for the league: “This is a tremendous opportunity for our league, and I’m absolutely thrilled to welcome Kansas City back to the NWSL, Kansas City is a soccer-rich community, and this fantastic ownership group is ready and able to commit the resources necessary for this club to be a massive success. I’d also like to thank the fans in Utah for their incredible support of the NWSL.”
“Our hearts are full of gratitude and appreciation for the support and passion our fans have shared with us over the years. We hope to carry on the rich tradition of the Utah Royals FC with leadership that shares our mission to provide prominent world class resources for female athletes. To this end, we prioritize cooperation with the Leagues to ensure a smooth transition to new ownership, and we pledge our unwavering support for bringing Utah Royals FC back to Rio Tinto Stadium as soon as possible.... When I first arrived to Salt Lake City three years ago, what stood out was the overwhelming support and excitement from the community,” Utah Royals FC General Manager Stephanie Lee said. “I hope fans have solace that women’s professional soccer will be back.”