pepifoto/iStockBy GOOD MORNING AMERICA, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — A professional women’s soccer team may be coming to Los Angeles in spring 2022, the National Women’s Soccer League announced Tuesday.
The exclusive rights to bring a team to the city were secured by a mostly female group led by Academy Award winner Natalie Portman, venture capitalist Kara Nortman, entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who, according to a press release, “led the investment through his firm Initialized Capital.”
The founding investor group includes Ohanian’s wife, tennis superstar Serena Williams, as well as their daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr.
Actors Jessica Chastain, Uzo Aduba, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, and Eva Longoria are also investors, as are retired soccer stars Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Abby Wambach, among others.
“I am proud to be a part of this wonderful group working to bring a women’s professional football club to Los Angeles,” Ohanian said in a statement. “Chiefly, because I’m a fan of the game, but also because I believe there is massive potential for the sport and it’s been undervalued by too many people for far too long. As someone who spends hours kicking around a football with my two-year-old daughter, I want her to have a front-row seat to this revolution. I’m personally investing on behalf of my family because creating more opportunities in women’s sports is important to my wife and me, and we want to be a part of making a better future for our daughter.”
“I am thrilled by the opportunity to partner with this incredible group of people to bring a professional women’s soccer team to Los Angeles. Together, we aim to build not only a winning team on the field, but also to develop a passionately loyal fan base,” added Portman in a statement of her own. “We also hope to make a substantive impact on our community, committing to extending access to sports for young people in Los Angeles through our relationship with the LA84 Foundation. Sports are such a joyful way to bring people together, and this has the power to make tangible change for female athletes both in our community and in the professional sphere.”
The team’s official name and venue will be announced later this year, and in the meantime, the group has dubbed itself “Angel City,” an homage to Los Angeles.
In addition to working with the NWSL, the investment group has pledged to “do things differently and to drive further dialogue about the issues impacting the LA community, as well as those that have negatively impacted women’s sports for decades,” according to the release.
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