Saturday is the Women’s North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur Women. There’s good news and there’s bad news — the good news is that there’s ample evidence that there’s increasing interest in women’s football throughout the UK. The bad news is that Arsenal just announced that they have sold 50,000 seats at the Emirates for Saturday’s match.
50,000 TICKETS SOLD!— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) September 22, 2022
Who's ready for the north London derby?
Whoof. That’s a TON of seats. The Emirates has a listed capacity of 60,260 so if that figure is accurate (and it probably is) the Emirates will be more than 82% full for a North London Derby in the WSL. The current WSL attendance record is 38,262, held by Spurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, also in a North London Derby in 2019. Saturday’s match is going to shatter that record and the atmosphere is going to be INCREDIBLE.
This is not an Arsenal blog, but if we take a step back from the tribalism for a second, this is really, really good for the women’s game. Interest in women’s football has spiked significantly since England’s home victory in this summer’s EUROs, and that’s translated into increased season ticket sales for many WSL clubs (including Spurs Women) and hopefully increased attendance at women’s football grounds. The fact that the men’s teams are in the middle of an international break is surely helping attendance numbers, but I think it’s awesome that there’s going to be more than 50,000 people turning up to a women’s football match.
Unfortunately, it’s going to make what is already an extremely tough match for Spurs Women even tougher. Spurs have yet to beat Arsenal EVER, though the gap has narrowed significantly over the past few years. The closest they’ve come was a 1-1 home draw last November at The Hive that was inches from a win before Vivienne Miedema leveled the score in the 92nd minute. Pulling out a result against Arsenal at the Emirates in front of a full stadium of partisan fans is going to be exceptionally tough.
Which is why it’ll feel so incredible when they actually pull it off. Right?
The Women’s North London Derby kicks off Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. BST. It will be televised on BBC One in the UK and on CBS Sports Network in the USA.