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San Diego Wave sets NWSL attendance record

Featured image credit: San Diego Wave

San Diego Wave set a new record attendance for a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) game on Saturday as 32,000 watched the team’s 1-0 win over Angel City FC.

The game was the Wave’s first at Snapdragon Stadium, which opened earlier this month with the staging of a college football game between the San Diego Aztecs and the Arizona Wildcats.

The 32,000 attendance was the largest in the 10-year history of the NWSL, surpassing the previous record of 25,218, which was set in 2019 when the Portland Thorns hosted the North Carolina Courage at Providence Park.

Casey Stoney, head coach of San Diego Wave, said: “It feels incredible to win for our fans, and as someone who has been involved in this game for 30 years, I’ve waited for this moment.

“To be able to do this without another crest, like in England how we rely on Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool to gain big crowds, but this is San Diego Wave, eight months into existence and to pull a crowd like this, it just shows what San Diego is as a community, and we want to keep them coming back because the potential for this team and community to keep growing is huge. This was such a momentous occasion for women’s soccer and I’m just so pleased to be a part of it.”

The Wave secured the win with a 30th-minute goal from Jaedyn Shaw. The victory lifted the team back to the top of the table with two games of the regular season left.

The Wave debuted in NWSL at the start of the 2022 season and played games at the University of San Diego’s Torero Stadium while Snapdragon Stadium was being built. Work on the 35,000-capacity Snapdragon Stadium began in August 2020 and the project was completed on time ahead of the Aztecs’ season opener.

Snapdragon Stadium will serve as the anchor facility of SDSU Mission Valley, a mixed-use development that will also include an innovation district, housing, a hotel, retail, and more than 80 acres of community parks and open space.

In April, Barcelona set a new record attendance for women’s football after 91,648 fans watched its Champions League semi-final against Wolfsburg at the Camp Nou.

The figure surpassed the previous record of 91,553, which Barcelona set in March for the El Clasico match against Real Madrid. Before that, the record attendance for a women’s football match was 90,185, which was set back in 1999 during the FIFA Women’s World Cup final between the US and China at the Rose Bowl.

In July, England defeated Germany in the final of the UEFA Women’s Euro in front of a bumper Wembley crowd of 87,192, which set a record attendance across the men’s and women’s editions of the tournament.