Months after a second-straight semifinal finish at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, England saw its most attended women’s soccer match ever on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.
A total of 31,213 fans were on hand for Manchester City’s 1-0 win over Manchester United. The game was held at Etihad Stadium, the home of the City men’s team, rather than the women’s smaller stadium nearby to accommodate the larger crowd.
Scotland’s Caroline Weir scored the decisive goal in the 48th minute.
From the AP:
“This was an occasion for us to showcase the women’s team in a Manchester derby,” City manager Nick Cushing said. “But our home stadium is the academy stadium and hopefully we can drive a lot of those people there.
“We just want to see that crowd that we see in the Etihad Stadium week after week pushing the men’s team crossing over. We’re excited to see what happens with our crowds and where they go.”
City’s big day demolished the previous WSL record of 5,265, set last season when Arsenal clinched the title. Per 90 Min, tickets cost only £7 and paying adults were allowed to take up to three children for free.
This new record, however, could last just one day. The AP reports Chelsea’s match against Tottenham on Sunday could draw even more thanks to all tickets for the 40,000-capacity Stamford Bridge having been distributed for free.
England isn’t alone in seeing a women’s soccer attendance spike following the World Cup, as the United States’ NWSL was also received by big crowds when it opened its season. Overall, the entire league has seen an 18 percent attendance increase from last year, according to Soccer Stadium Digest.
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