It’s time the WSL took the next step.
87,192 people witnessed the pivotal 2022 European final at Wembley in the summer, yet the majority of Women’s Super League stadiums accommodate for less than 10,000, with one club even having just 1,000 seats available. When will this change?
As of July 2022, Leicester- who are likely to face relegation- share King Power Stadium with the men’s side, which can accommodate 32,312 fans. If clashes were to happen, the women would host at Pirelli Stadium.
Whereas, right at the bottom of the ranking sits Everton, who can welcome up to 1,000 people to Walton Hall Park- over 32 times smaller than the greatest capacity.
Title contenders Arsenal offer a slightly more respectable 4,500 seats, whilst Chelsea marginally better this with 4,850. Both these London clubs have proved their worth on and off the pitch in recent years, but their facilities seem to constantly fall short of what they deserve.
The Gunners have attracted an average of 19,826 spectators, with a WSL record breaking high of 47,367 back at the September North London Derby. This wasn’t a one off affair, as the past three WSL games held at the Emirates has seen more than 40,000 people attend.
With this potential, why does the women’s side still squeeze into a men’s National League Stadium?
Despite the women’s squads playing more games where the men’s team have the weekly luxury, this arguably needs to be more.
Current leaders of the pack Manchester United have the league’s third-highest average attendance at home with 11,845 fans. This number is even greater, considering United only have their club’s main venue once this season.
Even though Tottenham attracted the biggest crowds for Arsenal (47,367) and Chelsea (38,350), they themselves only have an average support of 1,420 people, with a low of 303 spectators against Everton.
Although Leicester and Reading already compete in their club’s bigger stadiums, should all WSL games be moved there?