2023 in review – August

Featured image credit: Eden Park

August saw a record-breaking FIFA Women’s World Cup come to a close in Australia and New Zealand, with FIFA president Gianni Infantino hailing the “transformational” event.

The tournament kicked off at Auckland’s Eden Park, setting a new record for a football match in New Zealand of 42,137. More than 1.85 million tickets were sold for the tournament.

Infantino said that FIFA’s decision to separately market the tournament’s broadcast and sponsorship rights away from the men’s World Cup led to the tournament generating over $570m (£447m/€519m), allowing it to break even.

Back in the UK, All Elite Wrestling announced that it would return to Wembley Stadium in 2024 after a sell-out crowd of 81,035 fans attended the promotion’s first event at the venue.

It marked the largest crowd ever for a professional wrestling event in Europe, and also became AEW’s highest-grossing event of all time after generating more than $10m. The event attracted fans from more than 70 countries.

Wembley also welcomed its first high-street food retailer after M&S Food opened two stores inside the venue.

The food halls opened for the first time ahead of the Community Shield game between Arsenal and Manchester on August 6 and are designed to offer football fans and concert-goers a wider range of food options when attending events at Wembley.

Meanwhile, in the US, NBA legend Michael Jordan’s tenure as majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets came to an end after a group led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall completed a reported $3bn takeover of the franchise.

Schnall, who was named co-chairman and governor, had been a minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks and an alternate governor on the NBA Board of Governors since 2015. While with Atlanta, Schnall was involved in various aspects of the Hawks team building process as well as the renovations to State Farm Arena.

August also saw a new world record attendance set for a women’s sporting event as 92,003 fans attended a volleyball game between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Omaha Mavericks at Memorial Stadium.

The crowd surpassed the previous world record, which was set in 2022 as 91,648 fans attended the UEFA Women’s Champions League match between Barcelona and Wolfsburg at the Camp Nou.