It seems that everyone can’t stop talking about Wrexham, even MLS’s favorite publication The Athletic. Writer Pablo Maurer asked Wrexham advisor to the board Shaun Harvey why soccer fans would prefer an FA Cup match with Wrexham over an MLS one.
“It’s flattering from our perspective,” said Harvey. “It’s because it isn’t usual. It isn’t normal. It isn’t something that’s been looked upon, or derided, generally, in the past. That unique approach is what raises that interest for the viewer.
“Would people watch each of Wrexham’s 46 league games in the season? Probably not,” continued Harvey. “It becomes the same at that stage. So I think the fact that we were able to play in such a big game against a club that a lot of people in the States will have heard of – and the FA Cup is traditionally the world’s biggest knockout competition that everybody’s heard of. You bring all those things together and that’s why you get such a big audience for a game on ESPN+.”
Network adds next Wrexham FA Cup match to ESPN2
The mania surrounding Wrexham here in the United States has even caused ESPN to add Wrexham’s next match to mainstream television. Although still available on ESPN+, the FA Cup replay against Sheffield United on Tuesday will also be aired on ESPN2.
The move comes after a report that the enthralling 3-3 draw between the two clubs last Sunday was ESPN’s most followed soccer match of the day.
Wrexham’s popularity giving ESPN a boost in ratings
Earlier in the month, ESPN revealed interesting numbers regarding their FA Cup coverage. The streaming service’s viewership was up 100% during the FA Cup first round compared to last season. Second round action was even more affected as well. ESPN says that they experienced an 858% increase in viewers during the second round of the tournament compared to a year ago. This was clearly thanks to interest in Wrexham.
Popularity in the team, and the Welcome to Wrexham series, has even made fans travel to the small Welsh city. Wisconsin residents Nic Harrington and Lainey Simonson recently made headlines by getting engaged while on a trip to Wrexham. The couple chose to the Welsh town because they are fans of the show and destination.
America can’t stop talking about Wrexham
As World Soccer Talk reported this week, Wrexham is the biggest soccer story in America right now.
If you don’t want to take our word for it, the graphic below shows that Wrexham is trending greater than the brand-new MLS Season Pass that launched February 1. The Wrexham TV series, Welcome to Wrexham, has been a massive hit. It’s still available on The Disney Bundle that includes Hulu, ESPN+ and Disney+.
Ultimately, any soccer team that grabs the spotlight is good news for the sport in the United States.
Everyone is already talking about Wrexham’s FA Cup replay. The winner of the Sheffield United against Wrexham plays Tottenham Hotspur on March 1.
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