Australia and New Zealand Women’s World Cup shatters attendance record

Noah Strang
By:
Noah Strang
10/08/2023
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Australia and New Zealand Women’s World Cup shatters attendance record

Over 1.3 million fans have attended games at the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. 

News Insights

  • Australia and New Zealand Women’s World Cup most attended ever
  • Average attendance is also strong
  • Australia and New Zealand’s record will grow throughout the tournament
  • Big attendances for Australia matches expected

According to FIFA, the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand has already become the best-attended Women’s World Cup ever. This record was achieved last Sunday when 27,706 fans packed into the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium to witness the United States fall to Sweden on penalties.

1,533,545 fans and counting

The USWNT-Sweden match saw over 27,000 fans in attendance in Melbourne. That game pushed total tournament attendance to a record-breaking 1,367,037. The previous record was set at the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada which saw 1,353,506 total fans in attendance over the 24-team tournament.

Since last Sunday, Australia and New Zealand’s record has continued to grow. According to FIFA, 1,533,545 have attended matches so far, and at least 1.7 million tickets have been purchased so far. With three whole rounds to go, the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand could be the standard-bearer for Women’s World Cup attendance for many years to come.

Performances from the host nations have played a big role in achieving the tournament's record-breaking attendance numbers.

New Zealand opened the tournament at Eden Park in front of 42,137 fans to set New Zealand’s new soccer attendance record.  The Matildas have played in front of over 75,000 fans in Sydney twice so far this tournament, including when they played Ireland in front of 75,784 fans, which is still the most-attended match of this World Cup.

Australia could play in front of a packed Stadium Australia in Sydney two more times if they are lucky enough to advance to the final on August 20.

To advance to the final, the Matildas will have to beat France on Saturday and then defeat the winner of England vs. Columbia in the semifinals. bet365 gives Australia just 3.75 odds of getting past France and 5.00 odds of making it all the way to the final. Other betting sites have similar odds, so it’s clear it won’t be easy for the Matildas.

Expanded tournament helps set record

Strong host nation attendances have played a big role in breaking the Women’s World Cup attendance record, but so has the fact that the 2023 tournament features more teams.

The 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand is the first Women’s World Cup featuring 32 national teams. Previous editions have been 12, 16, or 24-team tournaments. In fact, the prior Women’s World Cup attendance record was set in Canada at the first 24-team tournament.

More teams means more games, so it really should not be surprising to see Australia and New Zealand smash all previous records. This is why many experts prefer to look at average attendance when considering whether a Women’s World Cup was truly a success. Thankfully for Australia and New Zealand, average attendances are also high.

The average attendance so far in this tournament has been over 26,000 fans per game. This is about 5,000 more fans on average than during the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. The highest ever average attendance at a Women's World Cup was at the 2007 World Cup in China which saw an average of 37,218 fans per match.

Since many of the later-round venues are high-capacity stadiums, the average attendance number is expected to grow even larger, meaning this could be one of the most successful Women’s World Cup tournaments ever.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino already believes this to be the best women’s tournament ever. “This World Cup has shifted from being a team-supported tournament to a globally-followed event,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said. “This is why we are witnessing the greatest Women’s World Cup ever — and a record-breaking one.

Even if Australia crashes out in the next round, the 2023 Women’s World Cup will always be remembered as a success for attracting the attention of more fans than any other tournament before it.