In 2019, the US Women’s National Team had an average attendance 8% greater than the US Men’s National Team. During 2019, the women’s team averaged 25,122, while the men’s team averaged 23,306.
Overall, 2019 couldn’t have been better for the US Women’s National Team. Most importantly, they won their second straight Women’s World Cup title (and fourth overall). TV ratings for the tournament for very good. And their attendance back home was nearly the best it has ever been. The trick now is to try to sustain it. With the Olympics coming up in Tokyo next summer, the opportunity for sustainability is there. So there’s no reason to think that attendance can’t be as good in 2020 as it was in 2019.
The year 2019 saw the USWNT generate their third highest attendance ever. The year 1999 tops the list with an average of 30,536 per game followed by 2015 with an average of 27,766 per game. This year slides right in behind that with 25,122 per game. (Surprisingly the 1996 Summer Olympics and 2003 Women’s World Cup didn’t move the needle in terms of attendance, despite both being hosted by the US).
Attendance for the WNT has been somewhat volatile on a year to year basis. The aforementioned 27,766 per game in 2015 fell 43% to 15,973 in 2016 but then bounced back to 18,150 in 2017 for a rise of 14%. However it fell off again in 2018 to 14,064 (a decrease of 23%), mainly due to all five Women’s World Cup Qualifiers drawing below 10,000 people. (This however, is not the fault of US Soccer as it was CONCACAF who was in charge of selecting venues, marketing, etc). But as tends to be the case in Women’s World Cup years, there was a big jump in 2019. Attendance rose 79% from 14,064 last year to 25,122 this year. The only downside (and it’s really not even a downside) is that attendance in this Women’s World Cup year was 10% lower than in the last Women’s World Cup year in 2015.
Here’s the full list of attendances for the USWNT in 2019.
2/27/19 – She Believes Cup – USA vs. Japan – Talen Energy Stadium – 14,555
3/2/19 – She Believes Cup – USA vs. England – Nissan Stadium – 22,125
3/5/19 – She Believes Cup – USA vs. Brazil – Raymond James Stadium – 14,009
4/4/19 – Friendly – USA vs. Australia – Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – 17,264
4/7/19 – Friendly – USA vs. Belgium – Banc of California Stadium – 20,941
5/12/19 – Friendly – USA vs. South Africa – Levi’s Stadium – 22,788
5/16/19 – Friendly – USA vs. New Zealand – Busch Stadium – 35,761
5/26/19 – Friendly – USA vs. Mexico – Red Bull Arena – 26,332
8/3/19 – Friendly – USA vs. Republic of Ireland – Rose Bowl – 37,040
8/29/19 – Friendly – USA vs. Portugal – Lincoln Financial Field – 49,504
9/3/19 – Friendly – USA vs. Portugal – Allianz Field – 19,600
10/3/19 – Friendly – USA vs. South Korea – Bank of America Stadium – 30,071
10/6/19 – Friendly – USA vs. South Korea – Soldier Field – 33,027
11/7/19 – Friendly – USA vs. Sweden – Mapfre Stadium – 20,903
11/10/19 – Friendly – USA vs. Costa Rica – TIAA Bank Field – 12,914
Total Attendance: 376,834
Average Attendance: 25,122
It’s important to note that US Soccer seems to have finally listened to player complaints about playing games on turf. All 15 home games this year were played on grass surfaces. This comes after all 18 home games last year were played on grass surfaces. In fact that last WNT game to be played on artificial turf was against South Korea in October of 2017 at the Superdome in New Orleans. That means that the last 35 USWNT home games have been played on grass. The only potentially questionable playing surface this year was at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Busch Stadium is home to Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals and as such, grass needed to be laid down over the infield dirt. However, there didn’t seem to be any ill-effects (and it bears mentioning that the men’s team also played a game at Busch Stadium this year).
All in all it was a fantastic year for the USWNT. Routinely massive crowds led to the third best attendance ever for the team. With the Olympics next year there’s plenty of opportunity for fans to get (or stay) excited about this team. Olympic Qualifying will be held in the US with the USWNT having all three group stage games in Houston and then (assuming they advance) the semi-final and final in Los Angeles. There figures to be a send-off series of some sort should they qualify for the Olympics and then, should they win it, a six to ten game victory tour. If all of that falls into place, it could be another record year for USWNT attendance.
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