Professional Soccer is Coming to New Orleans
New Orleans is going to have another major sports team.
The United Soccer League is expanding into the Big Easy.
An ownership group called USL NOLA, run by proven club builders Warren Smith and Jamie Guin, has entered into an exclusive partnership with the pro soccer league, planning to bring a USL Championship League men's team, and a USL Super League women's team, to the city by 2025.
The goal is to have the club up and running before the Men's World Cup in 2026, which will be hosted in North America for the first time since 1994.
If the venture's success hinges on the ownership group, everything should be great.
Jamie Guin is a native New Orleanian with commercial leadership experience in the MLS, NBA, and NFL, actually beginning his career with the then New Orleans Hornets.
Warren Smith, Guin's partner-in-crime for this endeavor, has co-founded numerous soccer clubs, including Sacramento Republic FC, a team which won the USL cup in its inaugural season while also breaking the record for USL regular-season attendance.
The team also plans to give back to the city of New Orleans too, having partnered with Greater New Orleans, Inc., to aid local businesses.
USL NOLA has stated their interest in building a venue for the team in the River District, a new development being planned on the east bank. The potential upside of fitting a multi-purpose stadium in a newly developed, entertainment-focused district could be limitless.
USL NOLA is reaching out to fans to get input from locals on club names, crests, and anything else relating to the soccer experience of New Orleans. Their website even cites NOLA as "the birthplace of soccer in the United States". You can find more information about the club and ownership group, and submit your logo and team name ideas, at uslnola.com
This is awesome news for both soccer fans in Louisiana and for the city of New Orleans itself. The United Soccer League is a feeder league for the MLS, similar to the G-League or MILB, and bringing a club to the bayou will be big for future MLS interests in the area.