North America’s National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has set a new opening weekend attendance record for the start of the 2023 season.

Across six games, the league averaged 15,002 fans on Saturday (March 25) and Sunday (March 26), surpassing the previous mark set last year of 10,150, an increase of nearly 50%.

In total, there were over 90,000 attendees at NWSL games last weekend.

The largest attendance was at the Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego where 31,000 fans watched San Diego Wave’s 3-2 win over Chicago Red Stars.

This was followed by a crowd of 22,000 in Los Angeles as Angel City lost 2-1 to Gotham FC at BMO Stadium.

There were a further 15,204 at Providence Park in Portland and 11,281 at Audi Field in Washington DC.

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The league surpassed 1 million total attendees last season, with an average of 7,894 across 132 games. Angel City had the biggest average at 19,105, followed by the Portland Thorns with 15,543.

A clash between new Southern California-based expansion teams Angel City and San Diego Wave in September at Snapdragon Stadium set the league’s attendance record with 32,000 last season.

The increase in attendances could boost the league in negotiations for its next domestic media rights deal.

The NWSL is currently in discussions with several broadcasters as its current agreement with national network CBS expires at the end of the season.

Image: Denis Poroy/Getty Images