Expansion is on the horizon for the National Women's Soccer League as Los Angeles gets set to join the league with Angel City FC in 2022. The club announced on Thursday that the team will be playing their home matches at Banc of California Stadium in downtown Los Angeles.
"Announcing our venue partner is a major milestone for Angel City, and we could not be more excited than to play in this spectacular venue right here in the heart of Los Angeles," said ACFC Founder and President, Julie Uhrman. "We are building a club for all Los Angelenos, united in their support of women's soccer and the magic that L.A. brings to its fans, players, and teams."
Banc of California stadium is one of the newest soccer facilities in the country, having opened in April of 2018 as the home of Major League Soccer club, Los Angeles Football Club. The two teams are not officially partnered, but will both call the stadium home moving forward in 2022. The 22,000 capacity facility is a big step for Angel City as the team will be one of the few NWSL teams playing in a downtown area.
The move is another sign of NWSL's growth. When the league was established in 2013, teams typically used smaller college scale stadiums for NWSL matches, with less upscale facilities to match. As the league welcomes more teams into the fold, the potential for markets with appropriate accommodations are a priority. Angel City will join Houston, Portland, and Orlando as NWSL clubs playing in facilities in the downtown area of their markets, while Sky Blue FC and Chicago Red Stars have made moves to MLS facilities as well.
"From the beginning, we set out to build a Club where everyone was welcome -- a Club that would strive to unite the world's city through the world's game," LAFC Co-President Larry Freedman said. "We are thrilled to welcome our new partners, Angel City FC, to our family, to our home, and to their new home. We look forward to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with ACFC to create great experiences here in the Heart of Los Angeles."
The announcement comes after NWSL's newest team, Racing Louisville FC, competed their expansion draft last week. Angel City also revealed a first corporate sponsor for the club with Heineken USA.
Noted within the clubs press release they state that part of their sponsorship is working with corporate partners to donate 10% of "the value of their sponsorship via product, asset, or monetary donation" to local causes. With the new Heineken deal, ACFC will give 10% of the sponsorship funds to the Los Angeles LGBTQ community. The club has been outspoken about their role in giving back to the greater Los Angeles community since their founding.