Utah Royals Added As Latest NWSL Expansion Team

Utah Royals at Exploria Stadium, Florida in 2019.
Utah Royals at Exploria Stadium, Florida in 2019. Photo by Marty Jean-Louis at headlinephotos/Depositphotos

The National Women’s Soccer League announced on Saturday that the Utah Royals are set to become the league’s latest expansion team. The Royals will begin playing in the NWSL in 2024.

Sources confirmed that the expansion fee is worth between $2 million and $5 million. The team, which is owned by MLS club Real Salt Lake owners David Blitzer and Ryan Smith, previously competed in the NWSL from 2018 to 2020.

“It’s a sliding door moment, where we had this window of opportunity, and for [Blitzer and Smith] it was all about the community, right?” team president Michelle Hyncik said in an interview after the announcement. “Ryan doesn’t look at this as some private equity-like investment. They are not looking at this as like some type of money maker. For them, it’s just all about the community. The importance of women’s soccer for young women here and young girls just can’t be emphasized enough.”

Utah will play its home games at the America First Field, with its training facility located less than a mile away.