WSL Clubs Report Tickets Surge After Euros Win

Clubs in the Women’s Super League (WSL) have reported a huge surge in ticket sales following England’s historic Euro 2022 win.

The England Lionesses brought an end to the country’s 56-year wait for a senior international tournament win as they defeated Germany 2-1 after extra time in front of a sold-out Wembley Stadium. While women’s football has seen incredible growth over the last decade, interest is expected to spike exponentially.

Clubs in the WSL, the top division for women’s football in England, have reported a huge surge in ticket sales coming off the back of Euro 2022. In less than a week, beginning from the day before the Euros final, Brighton said they had sold more season tickets than the entirety of the previous season.

As per the Guardian, Brighton, Chelsea, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham, and West Ham United had all reported vast increases in season ticket sales. Liverpool, promoted to the WSL after winning the Championship (second tier) last season, told the newspaper that their season ticket sales were up by 254% year on year.

Opportunity

Interest in international women’s football, specifically the Lionesses, is at an all-time high in England following the tournament win, but that interest must be replicated at a domestic level for the game to continue to grow. Without a strong domestic league, thriving in terms of standard and commercial interest, English football will allow a golden opportunity to slip through its fingers.

That cannot be allowed to happen and it is up to the FA and clubs to ensure that the bull is firmly taken by the horns with both hands. Women’s football has never been better placed in England to kick on and smash the so-called glass ceiling, and it may never be again.

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Since the Euros final, members of the squad have been frequently seen in mainstream media – both sporting and non-sporting – which has never been seen before. At least not to the same level that has been seen these last couple of weeks. The likes of Alessia Russo, Chloe Kelly, Lucy Bronze, Jill Scott et al are all household names with girls and boys pretending to be them in the playground, even with the new Premier League season beginning.

6,000 by 2024

In 2021, the FA agreed to a target of increasing the WSL’s average attendance to 6,000 by 2024. That may not sound like much, but average attendances at the time of the announcement stood at 2,300, under half of the target figure.

That was set months before the game-changing events of this summer, so the league should expect to comfortably reach the target (perhaps ahead of time). The opening weekend of the WSL season takes place on the weekend of 10/11 September, with several matches taking place in Premier League stadia. The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Amex Stadium, and Stamford Bridge will all play host to WSL fixtures on the opening weekend, and there is an expectation that record attendances will be seen.

Tottenham currently holds the WSL attendance record at 38,262, set during a North London Derby clash with Arsenal in 2019. While none of the Lionesses on show at the Euros play for Spurs, the travelling Manchester United team that will meet the hosts on Saturday 10 September do include Alessia Russi, Ella Toone, and Mary Earps in their squad. There is every chance that the WSL’s record could be smashed, with more than 60,000 seats available in the world-class stadium.

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Breaking records in the immediate aftermath of the Euros win is all well and good, but it has to be sustained. This is, without a doubt, the biggest season for women’s football in England coming up and, if the FA and football clubs can get it right, where the game is now will feel modest compared to where it could be in 10 years.

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