In numbers: Women's World Cup a resounding success
57,900... That's the number of spectators who gathered at Groupama Stadium to attend the Women's World Cup final between the United States and the Netherlands. Not surprisingly, Sunday's main event - a 2-0 victory for Team USA - was a sell-out and the tournament's top drawing match. With an average attendance of 21,755 fans per game, the fill rate for the entire competition was 74.6%. By comparison, the fill rate in Ligue 1 Conforama last season was 74%. As expected, the final and both semifinals held at Groupama Stadium boosted the overall tournament average (92% for all three meetings).
Fans in the stands and in front of TV screens
While many fans went to the stadiums to watch the matches, others followed all the action on TV. This was particularly the case for children (age 4-14) who accounted for 66% of the audience share during French team matches.
The enthusiasm surrounding the French team was also felt on social networks. The 23 players called up saw their communities increase by 63% between the day before the competition and their elimination against the United States in the quarterfinal. Instagram was the platform that saw the most significant (111%) jump - far ahead of Twitter (21.6%) and Facebook (20.8%). On the three networks, Lyon star Eugénie Le Sommer obtained the most followers: thanks to the Women's World Cup, 112,746 more people now follow her on Instagram, as well as 12,884 on Twitter and 43,426 on Facebook.
Il y a des choses qui vont bien au-delà du football ... avoir une famille extraordinaire ! Toujours présents dans les bons comme dans les mauvais moments 🙏Un seul mot MERCI ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/gbWGab2AJe— Eugénie Le Sommer (@ELS_9_FRANCE) 2 juillet 2019
In England, TV ratings were by far the most impressive. The semifinal loss to the United States (1-2) at Groupama Stadium attracted 8.819 million viewers with a peak audience of 11.821 million, for a 43.3% audience share. Records were steadily broken after matches against Scotland, Cameroon and Norway. In fact, English TV ratings for a women's football match were broken four times throughout the competition.
These massive numbers allowed women's football to claim their rightful place in the international sporting landscape, encouraging officials to invest even more in its development. "The potential for women's football is unlimited and, with this in mind, UEFA is undertaking initiatives to increase the funds available to national federations to help improve women's football across the continent. Increasing the participation and role of women in football has been one of my main goals since before and after my election," said UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin. UEFA's goal is to increase the number of players in European clubs from 1.3 to 2.5 million. This would be a logical continuation after the 50% increase in the number of professional players active in Europe between 2017 and 2019.
The first FIFA Women's World Cup organized in France was a resounding success, both on a cultural and financial level. Les Bleues' fantastic campaign earned them a whole new legion of supporters and the income generated proved that women's football can also be "bankable." Simply put, the future looks bright for women's football...