While fans flocking to stadiums have pushed the Women’s Super League attendance record to almost 40,000, the average attendance for the Women’s Super League is around 1,000. The highest average over an entire season was 3072, set in the 2019/20 season, which will have been influenced by games in bigger stadiums.
Despite some of the big attendances at matches in club stadia, the average Women’s Super League attendance tells us a lot more about the regular match fan than those big one-off matches, and there’s quite a varied picture across the league.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest clubs in the league have the highest average attendance rates. Chelsea are by far the most popular club in terms of regular attendees averaging 3,000 at Kingsmeadow over the course of the season. Arsenal and Manchester City are also very popular with around 1500 and 2000 spectators respectively. When these three teams play each other, the average number of spectators reaches around 4,000 spectators.
The smaller clubs in the WSL don’t tend to do so well on the doorstep. Most teams outside the top three attract between 500 and 1,000, although clubs are still working to try and encourage new fans. Clubs like Reading and Leicester City have moved to larger, more familiar stadiums to try to attract more regular fans.
It certainly looked like the numbers had been affected by COVID-19 in the 2021-22 season, with attendance not quite returning to its 2019-20 highs. However, with the boost given to English women’s football by winning Euro 2022, the WSL’s 2022-23 season is likely to be its busiest yet.