Open letter by Washington Spirit owner Bill Lynch
Dear Spirit Family,
We are thrilled to be entering our third year of the National Women’s Soccer League. We have already eclipsed several key milestones and have tremendous momentum moving forward. I figured I’d update everyone on several topics.
Why we do what we do: We are creating a unique opportunity for professional players, fans, and the community. Women’s Professional Soccer is an incredibly entertaining sport. Professional players develop exceptional skills thru focus, discipline, and deliberate repetition. This kind of mastery along with being good citizens presents Role Models unlike anything else in professional sports. We have the privilege of inspiring thousands and thousands of young women with these Role Models.
Stability of the league: We have all of the founding eight teams returning for our third season in 2015 as well as the 2014 expansion team (Houston Dash). With the Women’s World Cup this year we made a couple of changes. We changed around the schedules a bit and extended the season into Sept. While we decided not to add an expansion team in 2015 with the WWC this year, we have a handful of solid markets interested in an expansion team. The league is exceptionally stable and we are definitely going to expand.
The Washington DC market: We continue to focus on reaching out to the local soccer community and expanding our reach. We expanded our audience in 2014 by focusing on outreach efforts like our Adopt a Team program, Youth Soccer Club Partnerships, our Free clinics, our Youth Academy, our Spirit Ambassadors program, etc. Our audience and local reach has grown by more than 60% in the past 12 months and we have several efforts currently underway to expand it more before this season starts.
The Team: We are coming off a solid season on the field in 2014. You can see that we’ve made a number of changes in the roster and will still have a couple of more to announce soon. We think we will have a stronger team this season.
Our Fans: Our fans are the fuel that drives everything we do. We have extended the season to allow for the Women’s World Cup and to focus on better dates for games. This season we have all Saturday night home games except for one mid-week game. We are expecting 2015 to be a banner year with the increase inSaturday night games, the buzz from the Women’s World Cup, and our dramatic increase in local reach.
We will begin 2015 with four preseason events. Three of those are free and the fourth will send 100% of ticket revenues to Headers for Hope. With UVA, VT and UNC on our preseason schedule, we expect that we will have thousands of fans in the stands. We kick off our regular season home games by hosting 2014 League Champions FCKC. We are expecting a sellout.
We are in the middle of our Adopt-A-Team contest and will expand our free clinics and youth club partnership efforts in 2015. The schedule is out and single game tickets will be available soon. Come out to the games and spread the word!
Owner – Washington Spirit