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Attendances for the Women’s Super League (WSL) and Women’s Championship have surpassed one million during season 2023/24 as the popularity of women’s football in the UK continues to surge.

This marks a significant uptick on the previous record of 689,297 set in 2022/23. Women’s football has grown exponentially over recent years, driven by the success of international tournaments as well as effective media rights deals.

The FA explained that over half of England’s 24 professional women’s football clubs have achieved individual record attendees this season. Arsenal, for example, clinched a record of over 60,000, while the figure for the Championship is the largest ever in the second tier’s history.

“We’re thrilled to have broken through the one million mark for our cumulative attendance across our leagues,” said Nikki Doucet, CEO of the WSL and the Women’s Championship.

“Huge credit must go to our clubs and the work they have done in this space – whether it’s the players on the field or those working behind the scenes, this has been an incredible collective effort across the board.

“This season has been one to remember for so many reasons, but surpassing one million in attendance across the Barclays Women’s Super League and Barclays Women’s Championship really does speak volumes about the interest in women’s football in this country.

“This is only the beginning of our journey however, and we’re so excited to see these records hopefully be broken time and time again in the years to come as our game continues to grow.”

The WSL was founded as the top tier of English women’s football in 2010 and has experienced substantial growth in recent years. The 2022 Women’s Euros and 2023 Women’s World Cup, with England winning the former and finishing as runner-up in the latter, has driven publicity around the sport.

English women’s football has subsequently become the leading women’s sport in Europe. SponsorUnited found that four of the five most searched women’s sports teams in Europe were English – Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and West Ham, with the only outlier being Spain’s Real Madrid.

The momentum experienced by English women’s football has been noted by the media, with the WSL securing continued exposure on the BBC and Sky Sports via a one-year rights renewal signed this year. The league has also reportedly secured an extension to its sponsorship deal with Barclays.

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