A new women's soccer team is coming to Los Angeles and will be owned by a number of notable celebrities. Serena Williams, Natalie Portman and Jennifer Garner are among a large number of women who are part of an ownership group for a Los Angeles expansion team of the National Women's Soccer League. The franchise, which is nicknamed Angel City, will be the 11th team to join the league and will start playing games in 2022.
Williams will be part of the group along with her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who led the investment for the group. Their daughter, Alexis Olympia, is also part of the ownership group, making her the youngest professional sports team owner, according to Forbes. Williams is familiar with owning sports teams, having a minority stake in the Miami Dolphins. Portman is one of the leaders of the Los Angeles expansion team group, along with venture capitalist Kara Nortman and gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman. Garner is another notable actor who is part of the group, along with Uzo Aduba, America Ferrera and Eva Longoria.
Also, 14 former members of the U.S. women's national soccer team joined the group. The 14 former soccer players are Julie Foudy, Rachel Buehler, Shannon Boxx, Amanda Cromwell, Lorrie Fair Allen, Ronnie Fair Sullins, Joy Fawcett, Angela Hucles, Shannon Mac Millan, Tisha Venturini Hoch, Saskia Webber and Mia Hamm, who teased the announcement on Monday. Hamm is also part of the ownership group of Major League Soccer's LAFC along with her husband former MLB player Nomar Garciaparra.
"We've long sought the right partner in L.A. considering the NWSL fanbase that already exists in the region and the massive interest in women’s soccer in general,” NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird said. "Those factors, along with an incredible ownership group, make this an ideal situation, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to move forward."
Nortman told Forbes, the official name, training facility and stadium partner will be announced later this year. Angel City will look to feed off the success of women's soccer as NWSL's attendance rose 22 percent last season. The league was able to capitalize on the U.S. Women's Soccer team's success in the World Cup. Nortman also mentioned when Angel City begins playing, it will be right after the Summer Olympics and one year before 2023 World Cup, which puts them in a good position to have success.