Cheap tickets, greater visibility for the Matildas

I’m not normally a numbers person, especially with football. But for this I’ll make an exception.

Scanning through Thursday’s media release announcing the Matildas will be hosting the USWNT, it was the numbers that stuck out to me.

  • 33,000 fans
  • 465,000 watching
  • $5, $10 ticket starting prices

Those were the numbers that are filling my head with possibility.

It’s all about the fans for the Matildas announcement of hosting the USWNT. Picture: Football Australia, Joseph Mayers

Record breaking hopes

Let’s bring context to the 33,000 fans number.

The record for a Matildas crowd in Australia was during the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Australia met Sweden in front of a 33,000 strong crowd.

The USWNT is a draw card. 

Growing popularity of women’s soccer means more people realise the might, beauty and winning mentality of the USWNT. The controversy of goal celebrations at 13-nil against Thailand in the world cup, Alex Morgan flaring up old tensions against England by sipping tea soon after and a universal love of Megan Rapinoe all raised the profile of a team consistently ranked as the best in the world.

Organising a match on home soil is a success. Even if some of us will be locked out from basking in the excellence of the giants landing Down Under.

We’ve seen matches sold out at Penrith, Campbelltown and Newcastle and packed houses at other stadiums across Sydney. 

The Matildas meet the USWNT at Stadium Australia. The capacity is over 80,000.

Even half filling the stadium will break the record.

COVID-19 restrictions are worth a mention here. The Sydney and Newcastle matches won’t have venue capacities. My fingers are crossed this is a safe, healthy decision.

Eyeballs on the screen

Early data is suggesting football’s move to Channel 10 is a massive winner.

If you’ve been caught watching the Bachelorette, or any other Channel 10 show, you would be with me, in being surprised and stoked to see advertisements for our great Australian game.

The number of eyeballs for the Matildas games against Brazil was reportedly over 465,000.

That number was a mixture of prime time, free to air and advertisement.

What a breath of fresh air. 

What a way to build momentum ahead of hosting the World Cup with New Zealand in 2023.

“This was only the beginning, and I now encourage all football fans to celebrate with us again and help us break our previous attendance record at these upcoming games,” Football Australia CEO James Johnson said.

Cheap tickets

I’m a huge fan of reading the first and last line of a media release before diving in.

The second last line says the following:

“ Football Australia will have affordable ticketing starting from $5 for the match at Stadium Australia and from $10 for the match at McDonald Jones Stadium.”

I love affordable tickets.

Free tickets have been a successful strategy of both AFLW and WBBL. It has seen crowds stream in for matches to watch women’s sport.

I’m not saying women’s soccer should follow the lead of AFLW or WBBL. Both those codes are money rolled on the men’s side of the match. A position soccer doesn’t appear to be in. Additionally there’s significance to placing a monetary value on women’s sport.

Our code is diverse.

By making the game affordable it opens doors to greater diversity at matches. That helps inspire the next generation of players, officials, volunteers and coaches. It has the potential to be really special if done well.

My fingers are crossed it’s done well.

Bring on the Matildas v USWNT.

Match details

Commonwealth Bank Matildas v U.S. Women’s National Team
Saturday, 27 November 2021
Venue: Stadium Australia, Sydney
Kick Off: 3.00pm (AEDT)
Broadcast: Live and free on 10 and simulcast on 10 Play

Ticketing: www.ticketek.com.au

Commonwealth Bank Matildas v U.S. Women’s National Team
Tuesday, 30 November 2021
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Kick Off: 8.05pm (AEDT)
Broadcast: Live and free on Network 10 and simulcast on 10 Play

Ticketing: www.ticketmaster.com.au

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