New USL W League Team Christened Minnesota Aurora FC

The new USL W League team in Minnesota is hoping to dazzle and shine as brightly as their namesake.

The community-owned team unveiled its name — Minnesota Aurora FC — and crest on Thursday. The name and crest both reference the Northern Lights (or aurora borealis if you want to get all technical) that can be seen over the night skies of Minnesota in the winter.

“Minnesota Aurora FC emerged the strong favorite with a name and crest that evokes the striking beauty of the northern skies of Minnesota,” the club’s website states. “The crest depicts the three swooshes of an aurora over a Minnesota forest with the bright North Star beneath representing Minnesota, the North Star State.”

Graphic courtesy Minneapolis Star Tribune

The team’s primary colors will be Midnight Blue (the color of the sky in the crest) and Aurora Teal. They are accented by two other shades of teal found in the aurora and Flash Red, used for the star and the outline.

The name was chosen through a four-month process that involved several rounds of voting among the team’s community owners. More than 100 names were initially submitted in September 2021, and that list was whittled down to 16 by team founders. Community owners then narrowed it down to seven options in October, and three finalists were chosen on Nov. 30: Arctic Minnesota, Minnesota Foxfire FC, and Minnesota Aurora FC.

“We are excited to share the team name and brand with the community after months of work and voting”, said team designer and co-founder Allie Reinke. “It’s been a wonderfully collaborative process with community input that helped create this final brand, and is something that our Community Owners overwhelmingly loved.”

Reinke worked with designers Nicole Mayer and Carla Zetina-Yglesias to come up with logo concepts for each of the three finalist names. Those were presented to community owners for feedback and select a winner.

No jerseys were unveiled on Thursday, but the team does have several pieces of merchandise for sale on its website. One is a pack of stickers, which includes a secondary logo in the shape of the state of Minnesota.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the club’s ownership group is made of up of 3,080 community owners, each of whom invested a minimum of $100 to get the club off the ground.

The USL W League is “pre-professional women’s soccer league set to kick off in May 2022. The USL W League strives to use women’s soccer as a force for societal good by creating a national platform to increase opportunity, gender equity, and career development. The League and its member clubs are committed to investing in women’s soccer – through not only financial resources but also with time, energy, and attention – and are united in our mission to grow the women’s game.”

The league is aiming for at least 30 teams to take the pitch in its inaugural season.

Feature photo courtesy MNAurora.com