Women's pro soccer league fails
Interesting story on women's pro soccer league that failed.
Monday, September 15, 2003
League folds after three seasons
ATLANTA -- The WUSA shut down operations five days before the Women's World Cup, saying it didn't have enough money to stay in business for a fourth season.
The decision was made by the league's board of governors Monday at a meeting in New York. The Atlanta-based league planned an announcement later in the day, spokesman Dan Courtemanche said.
"A shortfall in sponsorship revenue and insufficient revenue from other core areas of the business proved to be the hurdles which the WUSA could not overcome in time for planning the 2004 season," said John Hendricks, chairman of the WUSA board of governors.
The WUSA's owners have invested more than $100 million to fund the league, and some of the top players took pay cuts this season to help keep it afloat.
The timing of the move was perhaps surprising, but the WUSA said it was "in everyone's best interest to make an immediate decision and announcement."
The league was formed as a partnership between the owners and players following the huge success of the 1999 Women's World Cup in the United States, which the Americans won. Founding players took an active role in league management.
"The impact of the WUSA on women's sports and millions of fans has been extraordinary," said Julie Foudy, captain of the San Diego Spirit and U.S. World Cup team and a member of the WUSA Board of Governors.
The tournament returns to the United States, beginning Saturday in Philadelphia. It had been scheduled for China but was moved because of the SARS outbreak.
The eight-team league, featuring the best female soccer players in the world, had franchises in: Boston, Atlanta, San Diego, Washington, New York, San Jose, North Carolina and Philadelphia. The Washington Freedom won the title last month.
Foudy said she hoped publicity surrounding the Women's World Cup would help generate support that could revive the WUSA. Fifty-six WUSA players are to compete in the World Cup.
"The positive impact our sport has had on youth players, both boys and girls, and their perception of women and athletics, has been inspiring to experience firsthand," she said.
Inline Hockey Central
Inline Hockey Central