A New Zealand family of five bought the tickets that brought total sales to 1.5 million for the Women’s World Cup on Monday.
World soccer’s governing body says the tournament, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, is on track to be the most attended in the competition’s history.
FIFA said the 1,500,000th ticket went to Auckland woman Maria Strong, who bought tickets for her husband and three children to attend Italy’s Group G victory over Argentina at Eden Park as part of a family celebration for her son’s 12th birthday.
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In a statement, FIFA said the sales target had been exceeded in the first five days of the month-long tournament, putting the 2023 edition on track to surpass 2015 in Canada with record attendance. More than 1.35 million people attended a 52-game tournament in Canada. The tournament has expanded to 32 teams this year.
The opening games set records for women’s soccer matches in both co-host countries. The crowd at New Zealand’s upset win over Norway last Thursday set a new high of 42,137. Australia’s 1-0 win over Ireland drew 75,784 to Stadium Australia, which is also the venue for the final on 20 August.
“We are seeing an increase in support for women’s football, not just in ticket sales, but also in broadcast audiences, fan festival participation and merchandise sales,” said Football Australia chief executive James Johnson.
Football Australia said the first 12 games had a combined attendance of 363,937. with an average of 30,326 per game surpassing the 21,756 of the first dozen at France 2019 and the overall Women’s World Cup average of 24,780.
The 1999 tournament in the United States holds the record for the highest average attendance for matches, with an average crowd of 37,944 over 32 games.
Associated Press report.
FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP
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