NWSL attendance record broken at Wrigley Field

Featured Image: Chicago Red Stars

The Chicago Red Stars hosted Bay FC at Wrigley Field on Saturday (June 8) in front of a record crowd of 35,038 – the biggest in National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) history.

The previous record was 34,130, held by the Seattle Reign for the final match of Megan Rapinoe’s career at Lumen Field in October last year.

Wrigley Field, home to Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs, usually has a capacity of 41,649 but the adjustments needed to turn it into a football pitch meant the number had to be reduced.

The grounds crew had to cover the majority of the baseball pitch’s infield and foul territory with turf for the transformation.

The Red Stars and Cubs have a connection via their ownership, as Red Stars owner Laura Ricketts is a member of the Ricketts family that has controlled the Cubs since 2009.

The home side ultimately lost 2-1, with Penelope Hocking scoring for the Red Stars that prompted fireworks.

“On behalf of the Red Stars, I would like to thank all 35,038 fans and every person who helped us welcome this record-breaking crowd to Wrigley Field,” said Chicago Red Stars president, Karen Leetzow.

“Chicago has truly shown the country what’s possible when we level the playing field with a centrally located stadium that is easy to access, and give these world-class athletes the support they deserve. Our club could not be prouder to call Chicago home.”

Leetzow added: “This historic match is not just momentous for the Red Stars, but for the NWSL and the future of women’s professional soccer. Chicago proved once again that fans are hungry to witness the intense level of competition that exists on the pitch every week in the NWSL and around the world.

“Hosting this record-breaking crowd would not have been possible without the support of the Chicago Cubs, the Ricketts family and our sponsors. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in the success of our ‘Red Stars Take Over Wrigley Field’ match.”