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Reign FC home opener set for May 3

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The Reign season starts on the road April 18 against the Washington Spirit.

Nikita Taparia

While the full NWSL schedule is still on the way, the league announced home openers for all nine teams on Wednesday. After two road matches to start the year, Reign FC will open at Cheney Stadium on Sunday, May 3, when they host the Chicago Red Stars.

Thanks to the club’s delayed home opener, we also know Reign FC’s first two matches of the season. The club will face the Washington Spirit at Audi Field on Saturday, April 18, and will then take on Sky Blue FC on Sunday, April 26, at the New Jersey club’s new permanent home of Red Bull Arena.

The full regular season schedule, including kickoff times, is expected to be announced in the next few weeks. That is likely around the same time that we’ll get official news on the league’s broadcast partner. All signs point to CBS Sports as the rights-holder for 2020.

According to Grant Wahl with Sports Illustrated, “CBS plans to show three NWSL games this season on big CBS, 14 games on the CBS Sports cable channel and all out-of-market games on the CBS All Access pay-streaming channel.”

Wahl also notes that CBS is considering a weekly studio show on the NWSL (yes, please), and that out-of-market games should be available on Twitch, domestically and internationally. The NWHL is seeing strong numbers using Twitch as its live-streaming partner.

The other big announcement on the horizon is the selection of an NWSL commissioner, a position that has been vacant for nearly three years. During that time, Amanda Duffy filled a similar — but not like-for-like — role as president before joining the Orlando Pride as executive vice president on February 15. As the league shared on Twitter on Tuesday, “the new commissioner will be introduced in the coming weeks.”

We know one thing from the league’s tweet: the new commissioner is a woman. In their statement, the league teased that, “We are confident she will further cement NWSL’s place as the global standard for professional sports leagues.”

It has taken a long, long time to get any official news about the 2020 NWSL season. But as owners have teased, and we are starting to see, it looks like the floodgates are about to open.

Expect more news from Reign FC as well, as the club should be unveiling a new name, branding, and jerseys ahead of the 2020 NWSL season. The preseason is just around the corner, kicking off on March 9. You can also get some early insight on the club’s direction from Reign FC CEO Bill Predmore, who will be joined by players Jess Fishlock and Bethany Balcer on a Reign-focused panel at YachtCon. Get your tickets for the February 25 event before it’s too late.