The NWSL officially unveiled plans today for a 25-match, month-long tournament to kick off the COVID-19 delayed 2020 season.
The matches would all be played in the greater Salt Lake City area. Games will be streamed on CBS All Access, with the opener and the final on CBS. The matches would be played without fans in the stands.
You probably have some questions about what this means, for fans and everyone else. Here’s what we know:
Is the schedule out yet?
What about season ticket holders?
In an email obtained by Hot Time in Old Town, the Chicago Red Stars are giving season ticket holders three options: 1.) Keep your money with the club, and receive special perks in 2020, 2.) Put your money toward 2021 season tickets, or 3.) Get a refund.
These are the three options the @chiredstarsPR just sent to season ticket holders. #mkot pic.twitter.com/wY2uEuApie— Patrick McCraney (@patrickmccraney) May 27, 2020
So, is this it for the 2020 season?
If the MLS plan to play a tournament in Orlando ever comes to fruition, the league is expected to play a partial regular season in local markets after it’s over. Will NWSL do the same? Probably not, it seems, but the league is rightfully keeping the option open just in case.
Everyone is treating post-Challenge Cup as unknown, but general vibe is it seems deeply unlikely anything happens after. But not ruled out, either. https://t.co/MW718wQEl6— Meg Linehan (@itsmeglinehan) May 27, 2020
Do I have to pay to watch this?
Yes, you need CBS All Access. But, you can sign up to get one week for free, and $5.99 per month after that. So, in theory, it would only cost you $6 to watch the month-long tournament. Not terrible.
Are the players on board with this?
We can’t say for sure that every last player loves the plan. In fact, there are reports that some of the USWNT stars may decide not to play. But the NWSL Players Union is on board, and they secured some pretty good concessions for the players. This is a very good sign:
A statement from the NWSLPA on the @NWSL 2020 Challenge Cup: pic.twitter.com/e6DpvOsSll— NWSLPA (@nwsl_players) May 27, 2020
NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird has a conference call scheduled this afternoon, so we’ll update this story with more questions and answers you might have after it’s over.