Why Angel City is NWSL expansion blueprint for Bay FC

LOS ANGELES — Angel City FC’s first game without its World Cup players drew a tick under its usual league-leading attendance. Instead of the nearly 19,000 fans who pack BMO Stadium most weekends, 13,648 gathered to see the Challenge Cup match against San Diego on a Wednesday evening.

That number still would be ahead of every team in the NWSL except for Portland (16,635) in average attendance in the 2023 season.

Angel City FC’s success has fundamentally changed the league. Since its arrival last year, the team’s accomplishments both in branding and on the field showed what’s possible for a new franchise. In turn, that $2 million expansion fee it paid has been dwarfed by the $53 million price tag for Bay FC to enter the league in 2024. 

“They’re the trend setter in this space and women’s soccer in the United States,” Bay FC co-founder Aly Wagner said of Angel City. “The way that they launched their brand, the way that they did it by bringing their community together. We’re learning from them. They have been so incredible helping us every step of the way.”

Angel FC’s birth was part of the motivation for…

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