Exciting things are happening in the world of women's football.
This weekend all attention will be on the Women’s Super League and it looks like any post-World Cup anxiety about how to capitalise on the momentum will prove to have been misplaced.
This season looks set to be an historic occasion with record-breaking crowds expected for the opening weekend.
Manchester City have announced they’ve sold over 20,000 tickets to the historic Manchester derby at the club’s men’s stadium, the Etihad. Chelsea and Tottenham’s London derby at Stamford Bridge is expected to be near-capacity too - that’s almost 41,000 people cheering on one of the league’s best teams and one of the newest.
Bristol City and Brighton and Hove Albion FC are also playing at Ashton Gate, the home of City's male counterparts.
For the WSL these figures are astounding - the current record stands at 5,625, set in April when Arsenal won the trophy at the Amex Stadium in Brighton. Give the people women’s football in main grounds and it turns out they will come.
Record-breaking is one thing, but what the league needs to sustain itself and grow are dedicated, larger fan bases who turn up to watch match-in, match-out even once the afterglow of the World Cup has faded.
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Multiple approaches to luring people in are in action this weekend - the match at the Etihad costs £7 for an adult who can then take three-under-16s free of charge. At Stamford Bridge tickets were free for everyone. It’s essential that once this weekend is over, the FA looks at the turnouts to these matches and uses them to inform upcoming fixtures, after all, tickets can't remain free forever.
Later in the season West Ham will host a game at the London Stadium and Tottenham will host the first-ever north London derby at their new ground, wouldn't it be incredible if we could keep up these record-breaking attendances?
Coinciding with an international break for the men’s leagues, multiple WSL matches are being televised this weekend on BBC and BT Sport, extending the clubs' reach even further.
The FA's new streaming platform also means increased visibility and overseas broadcasting rights have been sold for the first time.
The FA have even released an emotive video which summarises how much potential this season holds.
Times are changing for the women’s game. We all need to watch, turn up and engage so there’s no going back.News Now - Sport News