Last weekend’s opener for the National Women’s Soccer League eclipsed the league’s previous high, further fueling new commissioner Jessica Berman’s belief that interest in women’s soccer continues to grow.
To kick off NWSL’s 10th season, average attendance hit a new record of 10,000 fans per game. Leading the way was the Los Angeles expansion team Angel City FC, which hosted a 22,000-person sellout on a Friday night.
The previous attendance high was 7,880 in 2016, per Soccer America.
“Enough with the proof of concept,” Berman said. “What else do we need to do to prove that women’s sports has business value and people are ready to show up and support women’s sports?”
Berman also wants to add more teams in the coming years, citing an “overwhelming” level of interest from potential owners.
The commissioner’s optimism for the growth potential of women’s sports is borne out by global revenues from TV and sponsorship deals, which reached the $1 billion mark in 2021.
On Wednesday, NBA superstar Kevin Durant became the latest big-name investor in women’s soccer, acquiring a minority stake in the NWSL’s NY/NJ Gotham FC.