Those responsible for the development and launch of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) will be the first to admit there are still plenty of questions to answer and situations to address, but the group has accomplished its top priority: The PWHL announced which markets will be the first to welcome the women’s league.

Boston is one of them.

“Boston is an obvious market for us,” Stan Kasten, president of the Los Angeles Dodgers and member of the PWHL Board of Directors, told reporters during a video conference Tuesday. “Boston provided a number of different alternatives for venues, some big and some small, and places to train. So, in terms of that, it really was a good fit for us.

“We’re excited about being in Boston. We’ve had great reactions from the people we’ve spoken to, we’ve had great media reactions in terms of broadcasts and things like that. So we expect it to be a very successful market for us.”

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Boston will be one of six original markets along with the New York City area, Minnesota, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. All franchises, three in the United States and three in Canada, are owned and operated by the league.

“We wanted a market that was excited about the women’s game, that had a lot of traditional hockey fans, that we thought would support something like this,” PWHL senior vice president of hockey operations, Jayna Hefford, told reporters during a video conference.

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Hefford added: “When we looked at these markets, it wasn’t about whether there was a PHF team in the past or PWHPA group in the past. It was just about finding the right markets, the right partners, the right facilities, availability.”

Host venues, team names, schedules and general managers have not yet been announced.

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The PWHL, however, is hopeful many of those details will be finalized soon. Kasten and Hefford said an announcement regarding general managers, specifically, could come as soon as Friday.

Friday also will mark the beginning of the 10-day free agency period. The inaugural PWHL draft will be held on Sept. 18 with the 24-game regular season expected to debut in January 2024.

PWHL representatives expect more markets and teams will be formed in ensuing years. Schedules also are expected to expand to 32 regular-season games after the debut season.

Kasten acknowledged the financial commitment it will take for years to come, but said the PWHL’s plan is not a short-term one, but rather “permanent.”

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The league is funded by Dodgers co-owner Mark Walter and his wife, Kimbra Walter. The Mark Walter Group in June purchased assets of the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) to effectively dismantle that league in order to launch the PWHL. The PWHL is the only professional women’s hockey league in North America.

The new league is supported by a board of directors that includes sports icon Billie Jean King, sports executive Ilana Kloss, Dodgers senior vice president of business strategy Royce Cohen and Kasten. Longtime NHL executive Brian Burke, who called it the “most exciting day” in the history of women’s hockey, will run the PWHL Players Association, which has worked closely with the PWHL to ensure a mutual partnership.

Featured image via Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports Images