SWPL confirms record-breaking weekend with optimism Hibs’ cup final at Tynecastle can follow suit
A record-breaking weekend for attendances has been confirmed by the SWPL, with optimism growing that the the momentum can continue for Hibs’ cup final at Tynecastle.
Over 12,700 fans attended SWPL games across the two leagues at the weekend, with the highest by far taking place at Easter Road, where 8,066 fans witnessed the Edinburgh derby. That smashing the previous domestic attendance record set last season at 5,512. The Old firm derby on Saturday night also also attracted 3,328 spectators to Broadwood Stadium. SWPL managing director Fiona McIntyre believes the record-breaking weekend is further evidence of the continued growth of women’s football in Scotland.
“This is another historic moment for the SWPL and the women’s game as a whole”, she stated. “What we’re seeing is the continued growth of women’s football in Scotland and a desire for fans to engage with it. When big games are played within the best stadiums in Scotland, we can now expect thousands of fans to attend. This is a huge moment and one we can’t underestimate.
“I think this weekend gives clubs further confidence in the direction of the game. From the outset, we pinpointed the men’s World Cup period as a potential window of opportunity for women’s football in Scotland, with no men’s Premiership matches over the world cup period. This weekend’s attendances are hugely encouraging and illustrate the increasing appetite for women’s football in Scotland. It is our role, alongside the clubs, to capitalise on that interest and ensure games are as accessible and affordable as possible to encourage attendance.”
With the SWPL Cup final just around the corner, there is optimism that the cup attendance record could also be broken. It currently stands at 3,645 from last year’s final. The SWPL Cup final on Sunday, December 11 (12:30pm) between Rangers and Hibs at Tynecastle Park will also be live on Sky Sports, providing further exposure to the women’s game.
“We’re on track to see a record crowd at the Sky Sports Cup Final” she said. “Tynecastle is one of Scotland’s top stadiums, a perfect backdrop for this final. Rangers and Hibernian are also both well supported and in fine form going into the match. I’d encourage any fan to buy their ticket and be part of another historic moment for the women’s game.”