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WSL attendance records – full list

The Women's Super League has had their most successful season this season thanks to the success of the Women's Euros in 2022, originally due to be hosted in 2021 but was moved due to the coronavirus pandemic. That tournament itself, hosted in England, broke records in almost every round with England taking home the trophy in front of a packed-out Wembley Stadium.

Women's football also found further success and even more interest thanks to the Women's World Cup hosted in Australia and New Zealand in 2023. Thousands of fans flocked to fan parks and pubs in England and beyond to watch their country play. Spain went on to beat England in the final.

Much of the post-World Cup discussion was dominated by the fall-out of Luis Rubiales allegedly non-consensual ‘celebratory' kiss with Jenni Hermoso, and that continues to rumble on with significant consequences. Other off-pitch concerns continued to cloud matters, with Aston Villa's Castore kit coming under significant criticism for its ‘wet look', which drew the ire of the club's women's side.

The opening weekend of the Women's Super League season saw a real buzz with fans flocking to watch their local WSL team play.

Last year's runners-up Manchester United required an injury-time winner from veteran striker Rachel Williams, Liverpool shocked perennial title challengers Arsenal with a 1-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium and Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion managed away wins at Bristol City and Everton respectively.

All of Aston Villa, Arsenal and Chelsea hosted their matches at their clubs' primary stadiums: Villa Park, the Emirates and Stamford Bridge. So, were any big records set in this opening WSL weekend?

Arsenal break WSL attendance record at the Emirates

Records broken? You bet. A record crowd of 60,160 official attendance at the Emirates Stadium broke the attendance record for the Women's Super League. The previous record attendance was also thanks to Arsenal as they saw 59,042 fans turn up at the Emirates Stadium to watch Arsenal beat London rivals Chelsea.

It's little surprise. Eleven of the dozen WSL clubs broke a club or stadium attendance record last season, and that has regularly been the case over the last few years as the women's game has grown at such pace.

Arsenal's previous largest crowd was 47,367 for the North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur last September.

Do all WSL clubs play at their club's primary stadium?

No, but most of them do. In the 2022/23 season, West Ham was the only club not to play at their club's primary stadium. Every other side did so, usually for one or two matches, but sometimes for more.

This season, most clubs have already announced a series of fixtures to be played at their primary stadium. Arsenal have confirmed that five of their 11 home games in the Women's Super League will be hosted at the Emirates Stadium, giving them at least another four attempts to break this new record.

The Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall believes it's a “realistic vision” for Arsenal Women to play all their home matches at the Emirates shortly.

“We're moving away from the idea that it's a one-off to sell out the big stadium,” Eidevall said.

“What we want for the sustainability and the growth of the game is to have consistency in selling out big stadiums. That's the next step for women's football. That's the next step for WSL.”

Which WSL clubs play every home match at their main stadium?

King Power Stadium | Leicester City Women will play all their home games here for the season and could continue to a WSL attendance record
Leicester City Women will play all their home games at the King Power Stadium, one of two WSL clubs to make that commitment | Photo by Icon Sport

Leicester City (King Power Stadium) and Bristol City (Ashton Gate) have both made their primary, bigger stadiums the permanent homes of their women's teams.

What was the score at the record-breaking fixture?

Well, not for the first time, a record-breaking event at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium came with a surprise result.

Back in May 2023, the Gunners sold out the stadium for their UEFA Women's Champions League semi-final clash with German club Vfl Wolfsburg. A 60,063-strong crowd watched on as the visitors scored a 119th-minute winner in a dramatic and thrilling 3-2 victory.

It seemed unlikely at the time that Arsenal would see more than 60,063 fans attend a match at the Emirates Stadium for the Arsenal Women's side but, in February 2024, Arsenal hosted Manchester United with an official attendance of 60,160 fans turned up. The attendance beat the attendance that watched Arsenal beat Vfl Wolfsburg but also set a new WSL attendance record.

The Emirates Stadium is one of the biggest in England. The only other clubs with bigger capacities are Manchester United (Old Trafford, 74,310), Tottenham Hotspur (Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, 62,850) and West Ham United (London Stadium, 62,500). So, the challenge lies with them!

List of highest WSL attendances ever

  1. Arsenal vs Manchester United – February 2024 – The Emirates Stadium – 60,160
  2. Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur – March 2024 – The Emirates Stadium – 60,050
  3. Arsenal vs Chelsea – December 2023 – The Emirates Stadium – 59,042
  4. Arsenal vs Liverpool – October 2023 – The Emirates Stadium – 54,115
  5. Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur – September 2022 – The Emirates Stadium – 47,367
  6. Arsenal vs Chelsea – January 2023 – The Emirates Stadium – 46,881
  7. Manchester City vs Manchester United – December 2022 – The Etihad Stadium – 44,259
  8. Manchester United vs Manchester City – November 2023 – Old Trafford – 43,615
  9. Arsenal vs Manchester United – November 2022 – The Emirates Stadium – 40,604
  10. Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur – November 2022 – Stamford Bridge – 38,350

Callum Jones-Bowman

Callum is fairly new to writing having been a football scout since 2019 but since having a baby with his wife in late 2022, he has chosen this new career path to ensure he can be a hands on father while still being involved in his biggest passion - football.

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