Women’s Soccer League Launched
NEW YORK (AP) _ A women’s professional soccer league to open in April 2001 plans to play in eight cities, hoping to capitalize on the strength of last summer’s World Cup.
The Women’s United Soccer Association said today it will have teams in Atlanta, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Orlando-Tampa, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington.
Listed as alternates were Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Portland, Raleigh-Durham and St. Louis. Also under consideration are Milwaukee, Denver and Houston.
The league said it has letters of intent from more than 100 domestic and international players, including all members of the 1999 U.S. World Cup championship team.
The eight initial markets are conditional, pending completion of stadium contracts by Nov. 1. The eight alternate cities might be added in the first year or later through expansion.
Each of the initial eight markets required a $5 million investment. Much of the financial backing comes from media groups.
Two teams _ New York and Tampa-Orlando _ were awarded to Time Warner Cable. Atlanta went to Cox Enterprises and San Diego to Cox Communications.
Amos Hostetter, former chairman and CEO of Continental Cablevision, is involved with three clubs. He has full ownership of the Boston team and half stakes with John Hendricks in both Washington and San Francisco. Comcast Corporation will operate the Philadelphia franchise.
Hendricks is chairman and CEO of Discovery Communications, parent company of Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel and other cable network services. He will serve as chairman of the league’s board of governors.