Attendances in the Women’s Super League are up 200 per cent from last year on the back of England’s Euro 2022 success.
Kelly Simmons, the director of the women’s professional game, has hailed a record-breaking first half of the season ahead of this weekend’s final round of fixtures before the winter break.
“Coming into the 2022/23 season, we knew that we had an extraordinary opportunity to introduce the Barclays Women’s Super League and the Barclays Women’s Championship to new audiences,” said Simmons.
“The Lionesses’ victory propelled the women’s game in this country to new levels, and it was important for us to capture and capitalise on that momentum.
“It has often been said that a successful women’s England team will help generate interest in the domestic game. This is certainly true, and I have been really overwhelmed by the response we have seen from fans – new and old – in the first half of the season.
“I am delighted to reveal that since the season commenced, we have seen almost 300,000 spectators attend matches across the Barclays Women’s Super League. This just highlights how much appetite there is for world-class women’s league football.
“We are currently averaging almost 6,000 fans a week in the Barclays Women’s Super League as we go into the final league fixtures of 2022 – which is up over 200 per cent on this time last year.
“The Barclays Women’s Championship is also performing brilliantly, with the average attendance up over 85 per cent on this time last year.”
The highest attendance was an individual club record when Arsenal and Tottenham played in front of 47,367 fans at Emirates Stadium in September.
This Sunday sees the Manchester derby, City against United, at The Etihad, as well as Aston Villa hosting Arsenal at Villa Park.
Speaking at a pre-match press conference on Friday, Manchester United boss Marc Skinner said of the 200 per cent figure: “That’s huge – and the other night we played Everton (a 4-2 League Cup win on Wednesday at Leigh Sports Village) and it was freezing, and I think we had 1,500 fans that braved the weather to come and watch the team play.
“It’s brilliant, it really is, and that’s why we feel a responsibility in terms of to put performances on that keep growing this, if that can even be 400 per cent in the future.
“To get anywhere near to filling these stadiums that we want to fill, we have to keep that number doubling, and quadrupling.
“For us, it’s a privilege to play in front of more people, but I think more importantly, it shows the quality of the league and the quality of everybody within it trying to push the standards.”
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