Pro women’s soccer is having a moment. Here’s how to make it last

Fortune

Beyond their speed, strength and ability to smash a ball into the back of the net, professional women soccer players in the U.S. seem to be acquiring another talent: Putting butts in seats.

On Wednesday, July 22, the National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) Portland Thorns played the Seattle Reign in front of a league record-setting crowd of 21,144 at Portland’s Providence Park. (The previous record, 19,123, was set in Portland last August.) What’s more, the NWSL reports that roughly half of the games played since the 2015 Women’s World Cup have been sell-outs, with advance tickets are selling faster than in previous years.

Women’s professional soccer is having a moment in the spotlight, and it’s Jeff Plush’s job to keep it going. Plush was appointed commissioner of the NWSL in January 2015, and now guides the league as it tries to leverage the U.S. Women’s win at the recent…

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