Providence Park, home to the Portland Thorns of the NWSL and Timbers of MLS, has been selected to host the NWSL Championship on October 1st.
In previous years, the highest seed in the final hosted the final but since Providence Park has helped set record attendances in the last three years, NWSL commissioner Jeff Plush sees this as a great opportunity for the league.
“Everyone with the NWSL, from our clubs to our broadcast partner, is thrilled to bring our marquee event to Portland,” Plush revealed. “We are very excited to start this next chapter of our league’s championship match. Providence Park gives us a great opportunity to put on a fantastic event in front of our fans and for those watching on FOX Sports 1.
Portland has shown throughout the years that they have one of the most passionate fan-bases in the country, both in men’s and women’s soccer. The Thorns have led the NWSL in attendance for the three years NWSL has been in existence, averaging over 13,000 in 2013 and 2014, while averaging over 15,000 in the current season.
The president of business operations for the Thorns, Mike Golub, was obviously delighted with the announcement.
“We are pleased to play host to this season’s NWSL Championship game and look forward to a great showcase event for the league in front of the passionate fans of Portland,” Golub said.
9,129 fans attended the first NWSL championship game in Rochester, New York, where the Western New York Flash fell to Portland 2-0. Only 4,252 were on hand in Seattle to see the Seattle Reign lose to FC Kansas City, so this year’s final should surely see a spike in attendance.
The top four teams at the conclusion of the regular season will take part in the semi-finals to be played on September 13th. With three games remaining, only Seattle has clinched a playoff sport with Washington, Chicago, and Kansas City occupying the three remaining spots.
Portland, Houston, Western New York, and Sky Blue (NJ) are still alive in the race but must take points in the coming weeks to keep their hopes alive. The Boston Breakers are the only team that has been officially eliminated from the race.
Be sure to check back with GotSoccer in the remaining weeks to keep up with all the latest NWSL recaps and stories, as well as our Goals of the Week!