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Women’s Champions League attendances continue to grow

FC Barcelona will face Wolfsburg in the 2023 final in Eindhoven in a campaign that sees an upturn in the number of fans attending games.

Fans wave banners ahead of the UEFA Women's Champions League semi-final first leg football match between Chelsea and Barcelona at Stamford Bridge, in London, on April 22, 2023. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

As the 2022-23 UEFA Women’s Champions League is set to reach its conclusion with the 3 June final Eindhoven, this season has seen bumper crowds attend various matches with a year-on-year increase in attendance levels.

Last season, the first using the new 16-team group stage format, saw an average attendance of just over 9,000 which was almost a 50% bump from from 5,000 in 2018/19 for the knockout round of 16 onward. The data from the 2019/20 and 2020/21 campaigns is impacted by restrictions that were imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Looking at the all-time top ten crowds ranking, five of these entries come from games played this season with ten games featuring crowds of above 20,000 from home games involving Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Wolfsburg Arsenal, Barcelona and Roma as clubs stage these high-profile games in their main stadiums.

Biggest UWCL crowds this season

  • 72,262 – Barcelona vs Chelsea, semi-final second leg, Barcelona
  • 60,063 – Arsenal vs Wolfsburg, semi-final second leg, London
  • 54,667 – Barcelona vs Roma, quarter-final second leg, Barcelona
  • 46,967 – Barcelona vs Bayern, group stage, Barcelona
  • 39,454 – Roma vs Barcelona, quarter-final second leg, Rome
  • 28,720 – Barcelona vs Rosengård, group stage, Barcelona
  • 27,697 – Chelsea vs Barcelona, semi-final second leg, London
  • 24,000 – Bayern vs Barcelona, group stage, Munich
  • 22,617 – Wolfsburg vs Arsenal, semi-final first leg, Wolfsburg
  • 21,307 – Arsenal vs Bayern, quarter-final second leg, London

The Philips Stadium in Eindhoven (home to Dutch side PSV) will host the final in early June as Barça face Wolfsburg in a game that is expected to see the 35,000 ground at full capacity.

UEFA managing director of women’s football Nadine Kessler said: “Following on from a record-breaking Women’s EURO in England, fans are flocking to see the stars of the game in club action, and in the Champions League, teams using the main stadiums for a one-off big occasion, is now pretty much the norm, and has gone from an aspiration to almost an expectation.”

All-time biggest UWCL crowds

  • 91,648 – Barcelona vs Wolfsburg, 2021/22 semi-final first leg, Barcelona
  • 91,553 – Barcelona vs Real Madrid, 2021/22 quarter-final second leg, Barcelona
  • 72,262 – Barcelona vs Chelsea, 2022/23 semi-final second leg, Barcelona
  • 60,063 – Arsenal vs Wolfsburg, 2022/23 semi-final second leg, London
  • 54,667 – Barcelona vs Roma, 2022/23 quarter-final second leg, Barcelona
  • 50,212 – Lyon vs Frankfurt, 2011/12 final, Munich
  • 46,967 – Barcelona vs Bayern, 2022/23 group stage, Barcelona
  • 43,255 – Paris Saint-Germain vs Lyon, 2021/22 semi-final second leg, Paris
  • 39,454 – Roma vs Barcelona, 2022/23 quarter-final second leg, Rome
  • 32,257 – Barcelona vs Lyon, 2021/22 final, Turin