NWSL Announces Relocation of 2021 NWSL Championship Presented by Budweiser to Louisville
October 14, 2021 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) News Release
CHICAGO - The National Women's Soccer League announced today that the 2021 NWSL Championship, which was originally scheduled to take place at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon, has been moved to Lynn Family Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky, home of the league's Racing Louisville FC. The 2021 NWSL Championship presented by Budweiser will kick off on Saturday, November 20 at 12 p.m. ET, airing live on the CBS Television Network and streaming live on Paramount+. It also will stream internationally outside the U.S. on the NWSL's Twitch channel.
At the request of the players, and in coordination with the Portland Thorns organization and the Racing Louisville organization, the NWSL has moved the 2021 NWSL Championship from Portland to Louisville. The NWSL Championship is a marquee event for the players, the league and women's soccer in the United States and the league wants to ensure that the players are in a position to perform at their highest level. The change in time zone will allow a later start that is more suitable for players and attending fans.
"We are thrilled to be hosting the 2021 NWSL Championship game at Lynn Family Stadium," said Brad Estes, President of Racing Louisville FC. "Racing Louisville FC joined the league earlier this year and already we've felt the immense love and support from our incredible fans and community. Louisville is an outstanding market for women's soccer, and we look forward to showcasing our beautiful stadium and city through this event."
Lynn Family Stadium is home to NWSL's Racing Louisville FC and the USL Championship's Louisville City FC. Opened in 2020, it is the largest soccer-specific stadium in the region with capacity for more than 15,000 fans. Featuring a bourbon barrel-inspired façade and a Bermuda grass surface, Lynn Family Stadium hosted its first full-capacity game on June 12, 2021.
Merritt Paulson, Portland Thorns FC Owner, commented: "It has been a pleasure to host two exciting championship games at Providence Park. While we are disappointed not to be sharing our city, our stadium and our hospitality this year, we fully support the NWSL's decision to move the game to Louisville. We understand how important it is to listen to our players and our fans, and we agree that the change in venue provides a better opportunity to kick off at a more reasonable time for the Championship teams."
As previously announced, the newly expanded 2021 NWSL playoffs will feature the top six teams at the end of the regular season, with the top two seeds earning a first-round bye to the semifinals. The quarterfinals are set to begin Sunday, November 7. The first quarterfinal will air live at 3 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network while the second matchup, which is slated for a 5:30 p.m. ET kickoff, will stream live on Paramount+. The semifinals will take place the following weekend on Sunday, November 14. The first semifinal matchup will begin at 3 p.m. ET followed by the second and final contest at 5:30 p.m. ET. Both semifinal matches will air live on CBS Sports Network. All playoff matches will stream internationally outside the U.S. on the NWSL's Twitch channel.
The NWSL recognizes the impact this has on the fans who have bought tickets and made travel arrangements. Individuals who previously purchased tickets to the Portland game will be contacted separately in the coming days regarding refunds and will have access to a presale to have the opportunity to purchase before the general public. Championship game tickets for the new venue will go on sale to the public this Friday, October 15 at 10 a.m. ET. Fans will be able to purchase tickets by calling 502-568-2489 or online at RacingLouFC.com/NWSL-Championship.
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