Professional women's soccer is leaving Western New York, bound for warmer weather, with the sale of the Elma-based Western New York Flash to the North Carolina Football Club.
After nine years in Western New York, the team's move was announced Monday afternoon in statements posted to their Twitter account. Team owners and National Women's Soccer League founding members, the Sahlen family, said, "Unfortunately, it has become apparent that the Western New York market is not the right fit for the NWSL and the future direction of the league."
NWSL Commissioner Jeff Plush thanked the Sahlen's and Flash fans for fostering the growth of women's soccer in the Western New York area, and said, "The Flash will always play an important role in the history of NWSL."
The team is moving its operations to Cary, North Carolina and refunding their season ticket holders immediately. The Sahlens said the Western New York Flash Academy - a collegiate and professional development soccer program - along with the Sahlen's Sports Park will continue operate in Elma.