Another club attendance mark has been broken in the NWSL, as the Washington Spirit set a new single-game attendance record at Audi Field Saturday.
Since the conclusion of this summer’s World Cup, there have been signs of increased interest in the NWSL. Several clubs have broken their single-game attendance records over recent weeks, and Washington joined that group Saturday by welcoming 19,471 fans to its match against the Orlando Pride.
The energetic crowd came away with a Spirit victory, as the club defeated Orlando 2-1. More from the Washington Post:
It was a remarkable sign of growth for an organization without a winning tradition that plays most of its home matches at a small complex 17 miles outside the Beltway.
“Fantastic atmosphere,” Spirit Coach Richie Burke said. “I just hope we were able to inspire the next Rose Lavelle, Mallory Pugh, Andi Sullivan in the crowd watching us play tonight.”
Washington played at Audi Field once late last season, drawing a record 7,976 spectators. This time, the club more than doubled that, the attendance nearly six times the Spirit’s average this season.
The Spirit plays the majority of its home matches at the Maryland Soccerplex in suburban Montgomery County, with select games played at Audi Field–which is primarily the home of MLS’s D.C. United. The Spirit will return to Audi Field soon, hosting a match there against Reign FC on September 14.
Since the conclusion of this summer’s World Cup last month, there have been other attendance success stories around the NWSL, with the Chicago Red Stars and Sky Blue FC among the clubs to set new single-game attendance records. That period has also been marked by the fall of the NWSL’s single-game attendance record. Earlier this month, Portland Thorns FC drew a reported crowd of 25,218 as it hosted North Carolina Courage–eclipsing a mark of 23,403 fans that was set by the Orlando Pride in 2016.
Image courtesy Washington Spirit.