How San Diego broke the NWSL attendance record with 32,000 fans | NWSL

The is San Diego The wave broke out at Snapdragon Stadium with a record attendance of the Women’s Football League on Saturday night as more than 32,000 fans watched a 1-0 win over expansion team Angle City.

Record-breaking fans are part of the 2022 trend after Barcelona Twice he broke the global mark For this year’s women’s match, most recently with 91648 strong crowd in April.

Meanwhile, fans led the 25,000 wave of ticket holders who attended the Portland Thorns game in 2019 to set NWSL Score, all while watching the club’s first-year return to the top of the league table.

30 minutes passed until the fans, who were electric from whistle to whistle led by the Sirens fan group, were rewarded with a goal when 17-year-old Jaden Shaw scored the first goal in Snapdragon Stadium history, with a header from a pass from. Sophia Jokobson. Shaw, a star on the U.S. youth national team, joined the wave in July after being given permission to enter the league’s mid-season discovery process, relinquishing her NCAA eligibility and allowing her to turn professional before the 2023 draft. Shaw is now registered in Every professional game you’ve played.

Surf guard Kaelin Sheridan closed the door to Angel City’s best chance of the night in the 71st minute, swooping to her right to block a penalty and then snatching the rebounding opportunity and choking the ball before giving off an ear-to-ear grin to three. Defenders stand on top of it. Angle City did not threaten again and the match ended 1-0.

Before moving to the Snapdragon Stadium—constructed by San Diego State University, primarily for the soccer team’s use—the Wave home for their inaugural season was close to Torero Stadium, with a capacity of 6000.

The team said it sold those games, but their plan to move to the new 32,000-seat stadium across the city surprised many.

NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman said the record-breaking crowd provided a “proof of concept”.

“People will appreciate our role the way we value ourselves,” she said. “If you play in smaller stadiums, it looks like we’re not a real professional league, and it’s going to be hard to get the kind of respect and credibility we want. We showed up in a 32,000-seat stadium, and a lot of people were like, ‘That’s a lot of seats to fill’ , especially when San Diego was playing at a 6000 seat stadium. Jill Ellis called me at the beginning of the summer and said, “We’re going to sell it.”

Ellis, the club president who won the World Cup in 2015 and 2019 as coach of the US women’s national team, said the attendance record made a statement.

“We want to make a big push. And while that’s the show stopper, to say ‘Hey, we’re here and we can break records,’ to be fair with ourselves, we’re just getting started.” “The realistic goal is to grow from this and have an audience that can compete with the other top teams week in, week out.”

The Snapdragon Stadium was still under construction in May, when Wave began its inaugural season, leaving the team to start their presence at the smaller Torero Stadium. The division of the season between two stadiums also resulted in them not being able to sell tickets for the season this year.

This means that the team needs to pay one-game tickets to the new stadium for the first time for a purpose, an effort Ellis hopes to pay with season tickets next year. She said she expects the team to settle into a sustainable attendance zone of about 15,000 to 20,000 nights next year, compared to Angel City and Thorns.

Among the team’s ticket selling strategies was a “Battle of the Clubs” competition among the youth football clubs in the area, with the club selling the most tickets (CITY SC, in the end), winning a free practice led by Wave coach Casey Stoney and donating to a fund their financial aid.

Ellis had experience in San Diego as a football center before she started with The Wave; In more than a decade as a university coach California Los Angeles, the area heavily recruited.

“There’s just great tradition and history in football here, and the ‘club battle’ was a great way to put that into action,” she said. “This is a city that just wants to throw its arms around you.”

Women’s sports continued to have a busy year in 2022. We’ve seen it The biggest fight in women’s boxing historyand they are Barcelona Record-breaking crowdsA record crowd in the UEFA Women’s Champions League to see Lyon beat Paris Saint-Germain in France and a crowd of fans Angel City’s first home appearance in April.

San Diego Wave fans cheer during the first half of Saturday’s game. Photo: Dennis Boroy/Getty Images

“We now know, what may be a question for several years, that when women’s sports, particularly the NFL, are given a chance to be successful, they can be,” Berman said. “We have many proof points in 2022.”

For 39-year-old Chelsea Clasius, the Wave exit party has been a long time coming.

When she was 16 years old, her parents took her to see the United States in the 1999 World Cup semi-final match against Brazil. When the World Cup went to Canada in 2015, she again went to a match in Vancouver with her parents and brother. Four years later, the family participated in three matches together in France. Next year, they will be heading to Australia to do so again.

But first, they were part of the standard crowd on Saturday night – even though her brother, who is based in Los Angeles, wears an Angel City club scarf.

Before NWSL gave San Diego the wave, Klaseus had to settle on a few times the women’s national team played at Qualcomm Stadium, all well attended, before demolishing to make way for the smaller Snapdragon Stadium when the San Diego Chargers moved to Los Angeles.

“I’ve always known that with the right team, the right stadium, and the right timing, he was set to team up with the NWSL in San Diego,” she said.

The evening of the big wave came when the team didn’t even get the full attention of the area’s football community: Just five miles away, the San Diego Loyal of the United Soccer League played at the old Wave home at Torrero Stadium.

Although the evening of victory also came after an auspicious start to the Snapdragon Stadium. It was SDSU’s first game on the field It was marred by a record temperature in the regionin addition to the lack of shade in the seating area, which led to nearly 200 heat-related medical requests and transported more than a dozen people to hospital.