Women’s soccer had two-thirds of a hat trick of good news this weekend.
In England, Arsenal’s women’s club clocked a Women’s Super League attendance record during a Saturday match against Tottenham. Meanwhile, across the pond, the Los Angeles-based National Women’s Soccer League expansion team Angel City FC concluded its inaugural regular season on Sunday with the financial equivalent of a bicycle kick goal.
She’s Got Game
From a financial perspective, men’s sports hold the edge over their female counterparts — and the smarmiest of critics have called women’s leagues more of a social mission than a viable business. Soccer is different, with women’s leagues making serious down-field progression. And in the US, women’s soccer is even starting to surpass its male counterpart.
Both of this weekend’s success stories prove that point — and show there’s still plenty of room for growth:
- Arsenal W.F.C sold over 51,000 tickets at Emirates Stadium, home of the club’s male division, blowing out the Women’s Super League’s previous attendance record of 38,000 set in 2019. It’s one of six matches the team is scheduled to play in the 60,000-seat venue this year, with the rest of the games hosted at the 4,500-seat Meadow Park in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.
- Stateside, Angel City completed its season with an average attendance of about 19,000, including four sellouts, in the 22,000-seat Banc of California stadium — roughly twice its preseason projection of 8,000 to 10,000. Its 16,000 season ticket holders, 90% of which have already re-upped for next year, is more than triple the club’s goal of 5,000.
Anything You Can Do…: Angel City scored $11 million in sponsorship revenue this season, placing it ahead of seven Major League Soccer teams and virtually on par with a handful of NHL and MLB teams, Peter Laatz, global managing director of the Sponsorship Intelligence Database-producing company IEG, told The Wall Street Journal. With an enthusiastic audience clearly on the rise, women’s soccer is kicking through the glass ceiling.