Innovation & Economic Opportunity Award

San Diego Wave FC

The San Diego Wave FC is an example of innovation in action. Guided by a vision to be a force for good through the game of football, the club strives to champion continual progress for the entire San Diego community by improving the quality of life, providing access to resources, and uplifting our communities. This year, Wave FC hosted neighborhood takeovers in Chula Vista and El Cajon and held over 21 events across San Diego, including school assemblies, visits to the Boys and Girls Club, and more.

In 2022, Wave FC became the first expansion club to reach the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) playoffs in its inaugural season and has become one of the nation’s most successful professional sports franchises. 

Generating excitement on and off the field, Wave FC is breaking down barriers. The club is female-led with Jill Ellis as President, Molly Downtain as General Manager, and Casey Stoney as Head Coach.  In addition, over 70% of the front office team is female.