THE av­er­age

The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY -

at­ten­dance this sea-son across the whole of WSL1 is 1,027. That's a 30 per cent in­crease on last sea­son and al­most dou­ble av­er­age at­ten­dances of the pre­vi­ous three sea­sons. Those fig­ures in­di­cate strong growth, bear­ing in mind the the all-con­quer­ing Ar­se­nal Ladies side of the pre­ced­ing decade av­er­aged gates of around 350.

The in­cep­tion of the FAWSL sum­mer league in 2011 was a ma­jor boost to the game: the fa­cil­i­ties, in­fra­struc­ture and stan­dard of play have sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved. But if the game is to re­al­ity progress. Twit­ter and TV fans need to be­come reg­u­lar match­day spec­ta­tors.

Fuller sta­dia are so much more ap­peal­ing to broad­cast­ers, and broad­cast sport is so much more ap­peal­ing to spon­sors. Gates of 1,000 will not sus­tain fully pro­fes­sional teams in the long term.

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