2023 Women’s World Cup: A chartbuster in attendance records

The crowd of 75,784 in the Spain–England final in Sydney was the largest attendance figure in a single game, tied with three other matches at the same venue

Spanish Women's football team and Women's World Cup winners (photo: @FIFAWWC/Twitter)
Spanish Women's football team and Women's World Cup winners (photo: @FIFAWWC/Twitter)

NH Sports Bureau

The Women’s World Cup, which concluded in Australia and New Zealand on Sunday, August 20, set a new benchmark for the tournament with the number of teams going up from 24 to 32.

Spain beat England 1–0 to win the marquee tournament, which has seen an explosion in popularity over the past two editions.

According to official figures, a total of 1,977,824 fans attended 64 games —bettering the previous best attendance of 1,353,506 in Canada in 2015. The World Cup then was a 24-team affair with 52 matches on offer. The next best-attended tournament was the 1999 World Cup hosted by USA, which had 1,214,209 fans attend 32 matches.

The crowd of 75,784 in the final, thanks to a capacity crowd at the Stadium Australia in Sydney, was the largest attendance in a single match in Women's World Cup history. There were four capacity-crowd fixtures at this venue: Australia's opening round win over the Republic of Ireland, the hosts’ semi-final heartbreak against England as well as the Lionesses' win over Colombia in the previous round.

However, not every game proved a huge draw, as the organisers in New Zealand responded to low demand for four such matches by offering to give away 20,000 tickets, including contests featuring debutants Zambia. The best attendance in New Zealand, a country with a low population, was the 42,137 who had come out to watch their opener — representing the biggest crowd in the country's football history, men or women.

The match with the smallest attendance was the Portugal vs Vietnam Group E match (6,645) in Waikato, New Zealand.

Over 1 million tickets, incidentally, had been sold by June. The social media following, the official numbers of which are yet to be published, further endorse the growing popularity of the event — the 2023 edition shows 1.3 million followers in Instagram.

The US have won the maximum number of times — four — since it was introduced in 1991. Germany have won it twice, followed by Japan, Norway and now Spain at one cup apiece.

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