A-League Women’s opening round sees multiple attendance records broken

Featured Image: Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

The 2023-24 Liberty A-League Women’s season kicked off over the weekend with a record-breaking opening night, boasting individual and round records after just two matches.

Four records were broken, with two standalone Liberty A-League attendance records and two all-time round attendance records set, even before the four games that took place yesterday (Sunday).

Some 11,471 fans attended the Sydney derby at Allianz Stadium on Saturday, which overtook the record set during the 2022-23 Grand Final. Earlier in the day, the match between Liberty A-League’s newest club Central Coast Mariners and the Newcastle Jets welcomed 5,735 fans, a regular season record that was beaten just hours later by the Sydney derby.

The 17,206 total broke a nine-year record, when 15,955 attended in 2014’s opening round, which included some double-headers. It also beat the round record for standalone games of 11,595 set in round one of the 2022-23 season.

The previous standalone match record was set earlier this year in April, in the Liberty A-League Women Grand Final at CommBank Stadium, where 9,519 fans watched Sydney FC win against Western United. Before that, the standalone record for a game in the normal season – not including finals – was set by Wellington Phoenix in November last year, with 5,215 fans.

“Our plan for the FIFA Women’s World Cup started more than two years ago and today, we have three new women’s teams in the league, a full home and away season of 22-rounds, and an unprecedented 198% growth in memberships across the league,” said Nick Garcia, commissioner of the A-Leagues.

“Playing the opening round in mostly major stadia was part of a strategy to create new experiences and connect with more fans, and we are delighted to see the round record broken on day one, in just two matches.”

The opening Liberty A-League round follows the successful staging of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup across Australia and New Zealand, which saw 75,784 fans attend the final between Spain and England at Sydney’s Accor Stadium.

It was announced by Australian Professional Leagues (APL) in August that the opening round of the Liberty A-League would be played at larger stadiums, to capitalise on the growing interest in women’s sport.