Etihad Stadium, Stamford Bridge to host WSL matches

Plans have been announced for Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium and Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge to stage Women’s Super League (WSL) matches on the opening weekend of the new season in September.

The Etihad will host City’s women’s team on September 7 when the club welcomes arch rival Manchester United. Tickets are priced at £7 for adults, with up to three under-16s permitted to attend for free with the purchase of an adult ticket.

It will mark the first professional Manchester derby between the two teams after United was promoted from the FA Women’s Championship last season. The match is set to feature seven members of England’s World Cup squad, which reached the semi-finals of this year’s tournament in France.

City’s women’s team has played at the Etihad once before, in May 2014, when a last-minute winner saw off Everton in the group stages of the Continental Cup. September’s match will be presented by Puma, City’s official kit supplier.

Gavin Makel, head of women’s football at City, said: “Following an exciting summer of women’s football and the Lionesses’ form in France, we wanted to kick off the new season with a bang.

“Having the Manchester Derby as our home opener was the perfect opportunity to play a game at the Etihad Stadium and welcome our seven Manchester City Lionesses home.”

Chelsea’s women’s team, meanwhile, will play Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on September 8 in a match that will feature 11 players who featured at the World Cup. All tickets for the match will be free.

The weekend of September 7-8 is an international break on the men’s calendar so Premier League stadia will not be in use. Today’s announcements come on the back of a World Cup that has generated huge interest in the women’s game in England, and it is hoped taking WSL matches to Premier League stadia will build on that.

Image: Lachlan Fearnley