The English Football Association (FA) has launched a new three-year strategy focused on the women’s game, with plans to triple crowds at Women’s Super League (WSL) matches by 2024.
The strategy centres on three strategic goals: producing and attracting world-class talent, maximising and engaging audiences, and growing commercial revenue and financial sustainability.
The strategy lays out a number of key milestones and targets, including growing the average attendance in the WSL to 6,000 fans by 2024. There are also plans to increase the average attendance in the second-tier Women’s Championship to 1,000 and sell out the Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.
The current average attendance in the WSL is around 2,200, compared to around 3,000 before the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Championship, the average attendance is 410.
“Our priority in 2024 is to sell out the (women’s) stadiums that we are in,” Kelly Simmons, director of the women’s professional game for the FA, said, according to the BBC.
“Pre-COVID we had some big crowds in the men’s stadia then we were starting to sell out some of the big games in the women’s grounds.
“We want to continue that growth. When we get to the point when we start to sell-out more regularly (in women’s grounds), it gives us a really nice problem where we will look at alternative stadiums or seek other options.”
The FA’s strategy also includes plans to raise standards across women’s stadia for the professional delivery of broadcast, media and commercial operations. There are also plans to deliver a “unique, outstanding and comprehensive” in-stadium fan experience.
England will host the UEFA Women’s European Championship next year, with the final to be held at Wembley.