NWSL Broke Records For Opening-Week Attendance
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) kicked off its season last weekend, with the Portland Thorns looking to defend their title and the league eager to capitalise on the momentum ahead of the Women’s World Cup.
NWSL’s commissioner, Jessica Berman, is expecting 25%-30% of the league’s players to compete in the international tournament, which takes place in Australia and New Zealand from July 20th to August 20th.
Berman has emphasized the importance of promoting the league and its players, who have strong followings and will be competing on the international stage.
This year’s World Cup comes at an opportune time for the league, as it seeks to move forward after last year’s revelations of widespread abuse and misconduct.
The league’s opening weekend was a resounding success, with over 90,000 fans attending NWSL games and the league shattering its opening-week record with an average of just over 15,000 spectators for the six games – beating last season’s record of 10,150.
The addition of two new Southern California teams, San Diego Wave and Angel City FC, has also played a crucial role in boosting the league’s popularity.
The latter’s home defeat to Gotham FC was watched by a capacity crowd of 22,000 at BMO field in Los Angeles, while 30,854 fans turned up in San Diego for the Wave’s 3-2 win over the Chicago Red Stars at the Snapdragon Stadium.
With such promising numbers, the future looks bright for the NWSL as it continues to gain traction and build its fanbase.
NWSL: 2023 season, matchday 1 attendances
- Washington Spirit-OL Reign: attendance: 11,281
- Angel City FC-Gotham FC: 22,000
- Portland Thorns-Orlando Pride: 15,204
- San Diego Wave-Chicago Red Stars: 30,850
- North Carolina Courage-Kansas City: 4,948
- Houston Dash-Racing Louisville: 5,722
The announcement comes after the NWSL announced a landmark partnership with Endeavor Streaming to launch a global streaming service for viewers outside of the United States.