UTAH ROYALS FC
Report: Return Of Utah Royals FC To Be Announced In March
SALT LAKE CITY – The National Women’s Soccer League plans to announce that the Utah Royals FC club will officially return to the Beehive State in early to mid-March, according to Meg Linehan, a senior writer for The Athletic.
Linehan reported on the NWSL expansion team’s plans on Monday, February 27.
“The Utah Royals will officially make their return to the NWSL soon, sources familiar with the team’s upcoming plans confirmed to The Athletic,” Linehan wrote. “A formal announcement of the team, which will technically be a new expansion team launching for the 2023 season, will happen in early to mid-March.”
The chatter around #NWSL expansion has cooled a bit, but expect the official announcement of the return of the Utah Royals next month.
The news at @TheAthletic: https://t.co/kMWpvnSyq6
— Meg Linehan (@itsmeglinehan) February 28, 2023
Originally founded in November 2017, the Royals played in Utah from 2018-20. The franchise was moved to Kansas City in 2020 and currently plays in Missouri under the “Currents” nickname.
“When I first arrived to Salt Lake City three years ago, what stood out was the overwhelming support and excitement from the community,” former Royals general manager Stephanie Lee said in 2020. “I hope fans have solace that women’s professional soccer will be back.”
About Utah Royals FC
The Royals were first established in Sandy, Utah as an NWSL expansion club. The team played as the Royals for three seasons and held its home matches at Rio Tinto Stadium, also home of Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake.
In December 2020, the NWSL announced that the Royals would cease to operate in Utah and the club’s players were transferred to Kansas City.
“Since the moment we announced the club, we could feel your passion, support & commitment,” the Royals tweeted following the announcement. “Nothing can take away the incredible memories we made together. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Utah is forever Royal.”
Since the moment we announced the club, we could feel your passion, support & commitment.
Nothing can take away the incredible memories we made together.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Utah is forever Royal. 💛💙🤍 pic.twitter.com/IUZMUdjv3r
— Utah Royals FC (@UtahRoyalsFC) December 7, 2020
In January 2022, a new Real Salt Lake ownership group, led by David Blitzer and Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith, took hold of the option to bring an NWSL club back to the state.
RELATED: Utah Royals FC Relocating To Kansas City
“We do have an option to bring the Royals back to Utah and back to this marketplace. And I think the best way to say is that’s from our perspective, that’s a function of when, not if. We’re at day one, but this has been an important item that Ryan and I have talked about a lot, and we’re very excited to bring an NWSL team back to this marketplace,” Blitzer said in 2022, “They did incredibly well here. The fanbase loves it. The market is growing. The athletes are incredible. Women’s soccer is continuing to grow dramatically and this is a perfect place to have this team.”
In 2022, 12 teams competed in the NWSL.