Arsenal smashed the Women’s Super League attendance record on Saturday. A reported total of 47,367 fans filled the Emirates Stadium to watch the Gunners face off against bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur. The record attendance was 20% more than the previous record set in 2019 and also involved the two north London outfits.
Arsenal breaks Women’s Super League attendance record
The Gunners had been expecting to break this record for some time. Three weeks ago, Arsenal announced that 38,000 tickets were already sold for the game. This number alone would have broken the previous record. Nevertheless, Arsenal went on to sell nearly 10,000 more tickets. Team head coach Joan Eidevall was thrilled with the news.
“It’s been incredible to see the demand for tickets for the North London Derby,” stated Eidevall. “You can really feel the excitement around the game at the moment so it’s amazing to see that translate into a record-breaking attendance – now it’s our job to repay that enthusiasm with a big performance in this crucial clash for our supporters.”
Perform they did. Arsenal thrashed Spurs in front of the Emirates crowd on the day 4-0. Star strikers Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema combined to score three goals, while Brazilian Rafaelle Souza finished off the hapless Spurs side.
Center back Leah Williamson previously called on fans to support more WSL games this summer. The England international helped bring home the 2022 Euro trophy in July. This tournament also set multiple attendance records throughout the month. “We’ve brought everybody together,” proclaimed Williamson. “We’ve got people at games. We want them to come to the Women’s Super League – the legacy of this team will be the start of the journey.”
Arsenal storm to victory in derby
Arsenal’s chief commercial officer Juliet Slot fully agreed with Williamson’s message. “We’ve followed Leah’s lead,” stated Slot. “We thought: ‘Right, come on, we too, as a club, have to tell people we want them to come.’”
BETH MEAD ON THE BIG STAGE! 💥 pic.twitter.com/I43nzs83GU
— Attacking Third (@AttackingThird) September 24, 2022
“Part of the reason that I was brought into Arsenal is that I’m used to selling tickets,” Slot continued. “We’ve invested in those other areas and the final piece of the jigsaw was me coming in and going: ‘This is how we can commercialize it.’ Because ultimately, we want it to be sustainable. We want our women’s teams to be making a profit and to be filling stadiums.”
Slot’s strategies appear to be working. Attendance for the team’s opening match against Chelsea last season was reportedly 8,705.
Photo credit: IMAGO / Nicholas Cesar