2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup breaks attendance records
The curtain fell on a scintillating 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup on Sunday, which was a resounding success with record crowd numbers attending the tournament co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
The Final saw Spain emerge as champions after a thrilling clash with England at Stadium Australia, a fitting conclusion to a remarkable journey that has rewritten the history books of women's football.
The match drew another sell-out crowd of 75,784, which is the reduced tournament capacity for Sydney’s Stadium Australia. All five matches at the Olympic stadium drew the maximum capacity, making it the most attended stadium of the 10 used during the tournament.
There were also six matches played at the Sydney Football Stadium, attracting an average of 37,506 spectators, meaning Sydney’s 11 matches drew a total of 603,957 fans – a tournament high.
Australia hosted a total of 35 matches, attracting 1,269,531 spectators at an average of 36,272, while New Zealand had a total of 708,743 at an average of 24,439 for its 29 matches, including the largest ever attendance for a football match in NZ (43,217).
After Stadium Australia, Brisbane Stadium was the next best attended, with 355,115 spectators attending eight matches at an average of 44,389 per game. View attendances for all 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup stadiums here.
As is the norm for all FIFA events, capacities at every stadium was reduced for the tournament, primarily due to bays of seating being removed to accommodate the large contingent of international media, while temporary broadcast stages also blocked seats at some venues. Also in line with FIFA regulations, stadiums reverted to their non-commercial names for the tournament.
In a historic stride forward, the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup featured an expanded format, with 32 countries participating, a significant increase from the previous 24. This diverse representation from six different confederations highlighted the global appeal and unity of women's football.
The magnitude of the tournament's impact extends far beyond the field. With almost US$570 million (almost $900m AUD) in revenue generated, the 2023 edition achieved the significant feat of breaking even for the first time, a milestone celebrated by FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
James Johnson, CEO of Football Australia, exulted in the resounding success, stating, “Australia's passion for football has never been clearer.”
The record attendances and viewership numbers underscore the deep-rooted love for the game in the nation. He emphasized the transformative power of the tournament and its role in propelling Australian football into a new era, with women's football leading the way.
The Matildas, Australia's national women's football team, etched their legacy into the hearts of fans across the nation. Their remarkable journey through the tournament captivated millions, with matches averaging an astounding 3.44 million viewers per match. A cumulative viewership of 24.08 million over their seven fixtures speaks volumes about the team's impact.
Broadcast records tumbled as Australia united to celebrate the Matildas success. The semi-final match between Australia and England attracted a staggering 7.13 million viewers, with a national reach of 11.15 million on Seven's platforms – marking the highest viewership since 2001. Seven's comprehensive coverage extended to 18.6 million broadcast viewers and an additional 3.82 million on 7plus. These numbers exclude those streaming the action on the official host broadcaster, Optus Sport, who are yet to release their viewing numbers.
Australia's exceptional performance was amplified by the overwhelming support of fans. The stadiums buzzed with excitement, with almost 2 million fans attending matches, surpassing initial targets and projections. FIFA Fan Festivals drew a staggering 747,000 visitors, further highlighting the tournament's immense popularity.
There were 164 goals scored throughout the tournament, setting a new record and underscoring the exciting nature of the matches while the fan engagement reached unprecedented levels, with an average stadium occupancy of over 84% across Australia and New Zealand.
The buzz created by the 2023 edition has propelled the FIFA Women’s World Cup to new heights and the future is brighter than ever for the tournament.
To capitalize on the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup hype, the women’s competition will kick-off a week prior to the men’s, with matches moved to larger stadiums to attract larger attendances. This is highlighted by the Sydney Derby at Allianz Stadium, while the F3 Derby will take place at Industree Group Stadium, Wellington Phoenix will play at Sky Stadium and Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium. View the full fixture here.