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Women’s FA Cup final draws 49,094 fans to set new attendance record

Gate for Chelsea’s win over Manchester City at Wembley surpasses 2018 record.

16 May 2022 Rory Jones

Getty Images

  • Crowd provides women’s soccer boost ahead of Women’s Euro 2022 in July
  • FA hail decision to host final at Wembley

The final of English soccer’s 2022 Women’s FA Cup between Chelsea and Manchester City set a new attendance record for the competition, with 49,094 fans watching at Wembley Stadium.

Coming the day after the men’s equivalent at the same venue, Chelsea beat Manchester City 3-2 in extra time as the gate eclipsed the previous best for a Women’s FA Cup match, set when 45,423 fans watched the 2018 final between Chelsea and Arsenal.

“That was a special day for the women’s game,” said Baroness Sue Campbell, director of women’s football at the Football Association (FA).

“The atmosphere in and around the stadium from early this morning has been absolutely fantastic, it’s exactly the sort of occasion we hoped for when we committed to hosting the final at Wembley Stadium every season.

“The picture of Olympic Way packed with families, friends, girls and boys is an image that will live with me for a long time.”

She added: “This has been a landmark domestic season for women’s football. We have seen a huge growth in TV and digital audiences throughout the season and nearly 50,000 at Wembley today shows the appetite to attend live women’s football in this country. I’m delighted they’ve been rewarded with a great spectacle between two top teams.

“The momentum certainly doesn’t stop here. After a fascinating FA Women’s National League playoff final next Saturday, there’s a hugely exciting summer ahead. A major tournament on home soil provides us with an incredible opportunity to not only drive participation, refereeing, and coaching but also be even more ambitious with our desire to grow the fanbase. Days like this are just part of the journey, not the end.”

As interest in the women’s game in the UK continues to surge, England will host the 2022 Uefa European Women’s Football Championship national team tournament in July, with Wembley to again host the final.

At club level, Sky Sports head of soccer Gary Hughes said at the recent SportsPro Live event that coverage of the FA Women’s Super League (WSL) had surpassed expectations during its first season on the pay-TV network, drawing an average audience of 125,000 viewers.

The domestic WSL rights are split with the BBC and reportedly worth UK£8 million (US$9.8 million) annually. The BBC aired the Women’s FA Cup final on 15th May and TV ratings for that game are expected imminently.

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