Fueled by post-World Cup interest in the NWSL, the Chicago Red Stars drew a club record crowd of over 17,300 fans to Sunday’s match.
This past week saw many players return to the NWSL after competing in this summer’s World Cup, which ended with a United States triumph. The success of the U.S. Women’s team could prove to be a boost to the NWSL, as the league’s most recent week of action was marked by strong crowds across the board.
Of the week’s attendance numbers, the most notable was perhaps the sellout crowd of 17,388 fans that turned out to SeatGeek Stadium to see the Red Stars host the North Carolina Courage. Five members of the Red Stars who competed in the World Cup started in the game, helping to lead the club to a 2-1 win. The energetic atmosphere at SeatGeek Stadium–where the Red Stars had been averaging about 4,300 fans per-match prior to Sunday–and the importance of the record was appreciated by players, including Red Stars midfielder and World Cup star Julie Ertz. More from the Chicago Tribune:
The significance of the win — and the record attendance — was not lost on Ertz.
“This is what we’re trying to do, to grow women’s sports, especially here in Chicago,” she said.
“That’s what it’s all about. We want to make sure this is a place that has young girls we can play in front of and have them dream about filling our shoes eventually. It was so cool.”
Chicago’s record crowd was perhaps the highlight of this past week, but fans also turned out in strong numbers to matches in Utah, Orlando, and Washington. To keep an eye on NWSL attendance, be sure to follow our 2019 NWSL attendance page.
Photo courtesy Chicago Red Stars.