As part of a bid for an NWSL expansion team, an investor group is proposing a new stadium in Windsor, CT.
The current plan calls for a stadium to be constructed within Windsor’s Fastpitch Nation Park, a complex located on land owned by former congressional and state comptroller candidate and real estate investor Mark Greenberg. Greenberg is serving as the lead investor in the effort, joined by Mohegan Sun Sports, Civic Mind Studios founder T.J. Clynch, former U.S. women’s soccer team player Kristine Lilly, and sports management executive Thom Meredith.
Through this bid, the group is seeking to land an NWSL expansion team that would be branded as New England. Daily operations of the New England NWSL club would be overseen by Mohegan Sun, which has had success in its ownership of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun. The proposal would incorporate the stadium into area that includes softball fields and existing development, but there are still a few unknowns at this point, including the cost of the stadium and the timeline for any potential NWSL expansion. More from HartfordBusiness.com:
The team would add to Mohegan’s existing footprint in pro sports, as it already owns and operates the Connecticut Sun WNBA basketball franchise and the New England Black Wolves of the National Lacrosse League.
According to the proposal, the group is looking to build a minimum 7,000-seat stadium on the 120-acre, mixed-use land, which already includes 11 softball fields and 110,000-square-feet of retail space. Greenberg, who lost in elections for Connecticut’s 5th District Congressional seat and state comptroller, said he’s also opening a 127-room Holiday Inn Express hotel on site by spring 2021.
The cost of the project has not yet been determined, according to Clynch. It is not yet known whether the investor group will seek state funding. The Hartford Athletic, the newly minted division II pro soccer club set to play its home games at Dillon, received $10 million from the state to renovate the historic stadium on Huyshope Avenue.
While the group is expected to continue negotiations with the NWSL on Thursday, there is no exact timeline for when the league will decide which, if any, expansion teams to add. Clynch estimated the league is looking to add about three teams.
The NWSL began play in 2013 with eight teams, and has lasted longer than any previous professional women’s soccer league in the United States. After reaching a high of 10 teams for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, the NWSL fielded nine teams in 2018 and is competing with the same number in 2019.
Image of NWSL action Houston Dash.