If there was ever a good time for Inter Miami leadership to start a women’s side, it’s now.
The National Women’s Soccer League has never been more popular, especially in the midst of the Women’s World Cup.
It is possible that Inter Miami co-owners David Beckham and the Mas brothers could start the process of adding a team soon.
Let’s get into it.
Inter Miami Can Capitalize on NWSL Popularity
Just browsing over some numbers show that the NWSL has steadily grown in popularity since 2013.
In its inaugural season, the league drew more than 375,000 fans across 88 matches — averaging about 4,270 fans per match.
Last season, the NWSL had 1,042,000 fans across 132 matches, averaging 7,894 fans per match — an 84.9% increase from its opening season.
By comparison, the NWSL outdraws all other women’s professional sports leagues in North America — and it’s not really close.
The Women’s National Basketball Association averaged 5,679 fans per game in 2022 — more than 2,000 fewer than the NWSL.
Liga MX Femenil was even further behind in attendance — but bear in mind all three leagues have seen fan increases.
Another comparison is between all soccer leagues in North America.
Liga MX led the pack with an average of 23,160 fans per match in 2022. Major League Soccer was right behind with 21,033. The NWSL was a distant third… but in front of the USL Championship, Canadian Premier League, Liga MX Femenil and USL League One.
The NWSL was also the top-drawing women’s soccer league globally in 2022, outpacing England's FA WSL 1, Australia’s W-League and the Frauen Bundesliga in Germany.
And, in 2023, the average attendance for NWSL games has climbed 48% through the halfway mark of the season. Viewership of matches on CBS is up 21% and streaming on Paramount+ has increased 50%.
All of this to say the NWSL continues to steadily grow in popularity and now would be a great time for Inter Miami to jump on the train.
How Inter Miami Can Succeed in NWSL
Now, I don’t mean succeed on the pitch… that’s a different story.
But, the organization can capitalize on several strong factors to make launching a new NWSL side a solid success.
First, and this should be obvious, but you already have the world’s greatest player on your men’s team. That has already boosted attendance for the club and should be a strong draw to attract great women’s talent to a new side.
Then, and this might take a little explaining, but women’s soccer has really blossomed on the West Coast.
The top three teams in the league, by attendance, are all on the West Coast: San Diego Wave FC, Angel City FC and Portland Thorns FC.
And all three have great stories behind them:
- San Diego is in its first season with NWSL and signed Alex Morgan — star of the U.S. Women’s National Team. The squad draws an average 20,681 fans to each match, which is pretty remarkable.
- Angel City FC was the brainchild of Los Angeles FC’s extensive ownership — which includes former American star Mia Hamm. The side has drawn more than 19,000 on average on the heels of Los Angeles FC’s extensive popularity in Southern California.
- Portland Thorns FC is one of the historical NWSL clubs and features USWMT member Megan Rapinoe as one of its stars. Both Portland Thorns FC and the Portland Timbers are among the most popular sports franchises in the Northwest.
The point here is that I think there is a hunger for women’s soccer in South Florida.
Orlando City FC’s NWSL squad — Orlando Pride — draws just over 6,000 to each match and I think Inter Miami can do even better than that.
All of this is to suggest that it is time for Beckham and the Mas brothers to seriously start laying the groundwork to bring an NWSL side to South Florida.