The Women’s World Cup is nearly here. For the teams that qualified, it is the culmination of a four year cycle. And since it’s the end of the cycle, it’s time to look back and see what the USWNT attendance was from 2019 to 2023.

Unfortunately, the USWNT attendance dropped 6% during the 2015-2019 period. From 2015 to 2019, the average attendance was 18,145 over the course of 69 games. For the current cycle (2019-2023), the average dropped down to 16,975 over 46 games.

Here’s how the crowds break down:

2019 Friendlies

8/3/19USA vs. Republic of IrelandRose Bowl37,040
8/29/19USA vs. PortugalLincoln Financial Field49,504
9/3/19USA vs. PortugalAllianz Field19,600
10/3/19USA vs. South KoreaBank of America Stadium30,071
10/6/19USA vs. South KoreaSoldier Field33,027
11/7/19USA vs. SwedenHistoric Crew Stadium20,903
11/10/19USA vs. Costa RicaTIAA Bank Field12,914

The friendlies immediately following the Women’s World Cup in France were immensely successful. This Victory Tour was even more successful than the one after the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Average attendance for these seven friendly games was 29,008. The 49,504 against Portugal was also the largest home crowd for a USWNT game since the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final.

Olympic Qualifying

1/28/20USA vs. HaitiShell Energy Stadium4,363
1/31/20USA vs. PanamaShell Energy Stadium14,121
2/3/20USA vs. Costa RicaShell Energy Stadium7,082
2/7/20USA vs. MexicoDignity Health Sports Park11,292
2/9/20USA vs. CanadaDignity Health Sports Park17,489

Attendance at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament was much lower than it was for the friendlies at the end of 2019. Perhaps the biggest reason for this is CONCACAF’s decision to limit the number of venues. Crowds are always smaller, on average, when fans in a city can choose between three games in a week rather than once a year. Average attendance for the five Olympic qualifiers was 10,869.

2020 She Believes Cup

3/5/20USA vs. EnglandExploria Stadium16,531
3/8/20USA vs. SpainRed Bull Arena26,500
3/11/20USA vs. JapanToyota Stadium19,096

While some can knock the nature of the She Believes Cup as a series of glorified friendlies, what can’t be knocked is the crowds that these games draw. Despite it being mostly the same cast of characters in the same half dozen stadiums (a common trend with US Soccer) the She Believes Cup games usually sell out or come close to it. 2020’s edition of the tournament drew an average of 20,709 right before COVID shut down the world.

2021 Friendlies

1/18/21USA vs. ColombiaExploria Stadium2,042
1/22/21USA vs. ColombiaExploria Stadium3,202
6/10/21USA vs. PortugalShell Energy Stadium9,951
6/13/21USA vs. JamaicaShell Energy Stadium8,737
6/16/21USA vs. NigeriaQ2 Stadium20,500
7/1/21USA vs. MexicoPratt & Whitney Stadium21,637
7/5/21USA vs. MexicoPratt & Whitney Stadium27,758
9/16/21USA vs. ParaguayFirstEnergy Stadium14,117
9/21/21USA vs. ParaguayTQL Stadium22,515
10/21/21USA vs. South KoreaChildren’s Mercy Park18,467
10/26/21USA vs. South KoreaAllianz Field18,115

Attendance for friendlies in 2021 was noticeably lower in 2021 than it was in 2019. However, there is a fairly reasonable explanation. The first four friendlies in 2021 were played at a time when many cities still had capacity restrictions for sporting events. But overall the average attendance for the eleven USWNT friendlies in 2021 was 15,186.

2021 She Believes Cup

2/18/21USA vs. CanadaExploria Stadium3,104
2/21/21USA vs. BrazilExploria Stadium4,000
2/24/21USA vs. ArgentinaExploria Stadium3,702

The situation for the 2021 She Believes Cup was very much the same as it was for the first few friendlies that year in regards to capacity restrictions. There was also the additional quirk of all three games being in the same stadium (which we’ve already seen typically causes smaller crowds). As such, the average attendance for these three games was a mere 3,602.

2022 She Believes Cup

2/17/22USA vs. Czech RepublicDignity Health Sports Park7,333
2/20/22USA vs. New ZealandDignity Health Sports Park16,587
2/23/22USA vs. IcelandToyota Stadium7,444

The crowds for this version of the She Believes Cup were, somewhat surprisingly, not all that great. Yes, two of the three games were played in the same venue, but one would have expected a boost following the strong showings after capacity restrictions were lifted in the second half of the prior year. Average for these three games was 10,455.

2022 Friendlies

4/9/22USA vs. Field12,071
4/12/22USA vs. UzbekistanSubaru Park11,373
6/25/22USA vs. ColombiaDick’s Sporting Goods Park17,143
6/28/22USA vs. ColombiaAmerica First Field16,077
9/3/22USA vs. NigeriaChildren’s Mercy Park14,502
9/6/22USA vs. NigeriaAudi Field18,869
11/10/22USA vs. GermanyDRV PNK Stadium16,917
11/13/22USA vs. GermanyRed Bull Arena26,317

The USWNT friendlies in 2022 tell a much better tale than the She Believes Cup. The eight friendly games drew an average of 16,659. The biggest crowds were for the biggest names while the two smallest crowds were for the smallest name in Uzbekistan, who the USMNT will also be playing in September.

2023 She Believes Cup

2/16/23USA vs. CanadaExploria Stadium14,697
2/19/23USA vs. JapanGeodis Park25,471
2/22/23USA vs. BrazilToyota Stadium17,784

The 2023 She Believes Cup saw the USWNT return to Nashville (where they had played in previous editions of the tournament against France in 2016 and against England in 2019). But this time was the first ever international game at the brand new Geodis Park, home of Nashville SC in MLS. The average attendance for the three games was 19,317, the best since the 2020 tournament

2023 Friendlies

4/8/23USA vs. Republic of IrelandQ2 Stadium20,593
4/11/23USA vs. Republic of IrelandCityPark22,294
7/9/23USA vs. WalesPayPal Park18,000

And it’s not a surprise that the last three friendlies the USWNT played before heading off to New Zealand were all stone cold sellouts. While they didn’t get a true send-off series, these three games still showed tremendous support. Three games in MLS stadiums, three sellouts: average attendance – 20,296.


So despite the USWNT attendance being down over the course of the four years cycle, there are still some positives. First, it seems unlikely that there will be another pandemic that shuts everything down any time in the near future. Second is that the US are favorites to three-peat down under, which would lead to another successful Victory Tour.

And lastly, there is a possibility that the next Women’s World Cup could be played in the US. If that happens, it would not only usher in the greatest opportunity for soccer growth in American soccer history (combined with the World Cup here in 2016 and Olympic soccer in LA in 2028) but it would also serve to boost WNT attendance even further.