92,003 – Breaking the Record for Largest Audience to Watch a Female Sporting Event
Last year, Nebraska Women’s Volleyball Coach John Cook set a goal to reclaim the record for the most fans to see a women’s volleyball game, equating to just over 20,000 fans. Trouble is, the University of Nebraska doesn’t have an indoor facility that could house that many fans. So, university officials decided to hold the match in Memorial Stadium… and they decided to aim a little higher. The world record for most fans to ever watch a female sporting event was the women’s World Cup Finals, played on July 10, 1999, when 90,185 people watched Team USA defeat China at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
So, when the tickets went on sale in January, they asked the Nebraska faithful to help set a new world record. Within 3 days, 82,000 tickets were sold. Over the next 9 months, another 10,000 were sold. And, when the official number of spectators was announced for the August 30th game, the official attendance was 92,003 – a new world’s record.
Joe’s Perspective: Crowds have been growing for women’s sports for the past several decades. It began with the Women’s World Cup and has continued with the WNBA. Just look at the attendance of the Women’s Final Four in basketball each year. I think this event at the University of Nebraska also shows that people do care. As team captain, Lexi Rodriguez said, “It was something bigger than just a volleyball game. It’s going to go down in history. It’s putting volleyball and women’s sports on a bigger map.” Indeed, women are putting a solid product on the table. Who knows what attendance at women’s sporting events will be in 10 or 20 years.
Your Turn: What do you think this event means for women’s sports?