Women's World Cup crowds up 30 percent on 2019: FIFA

AFP , Friday 4 Aug 2023

Attendances at the Women's World Cup are up nearly 30 percent on 2019, FIFA said Friday, declaring that the tournament in Australia and New Zealand had "exceeded expectations in many ways".

Spain s Alexia Putellas
Spain s Alexia Putellas, center, takes part in drills during a FIFA Women s World Cup team practice at Waitakere Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, Aug. 4, 2023. AP

 

Data provided by football's governing body showed that after 48 matches so far, 1,222,839 fans had passed through the turnstiles.

That is a 29 percent increase compared to after 48 matches in France four years ago.

The average crowd at this World Cup -- where the knockout stage begins on Saturday -- is just over 25,000.

There have been sell-out crowds, but games have generally been better attended in Australia than New Zealand.

Under 7,000 watched Japan beat Costa Rica 2-0 in New Zealand's Dunedin and there were swathes of empty seats.

More than 1,715,000 tickets have been sold in total so far, surpassing the tournament's initial target of 1.3 million.

"I'm confident by the final we will have more than 1.9 million fans having walked through the stadium gates," FIFA women's football chief Sarai Bareman told AFP.

She added: "The tournament has been incredible so far, it has exceeded our expectations in many ways."

Despite some games being behind TV paywalls, broadcast figures globally have also been "overwhelmingly positive", she said.

The United States' clash with the Netherlands was the most watched Women's World Cup group stage game ever in America.

Bareman attributed the interest to growth in women's football, which has seen the gap to the top teams close and matches become more competitive.

Last year's European Championship runners-up Germany, Brazil, Italy and Olympic champions Canada were all turfed out in the group phase.

Morocco, Nigeria, Jamaica and South Africa instead progressed.

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