NWSL’s newest California expansion teams meet Saturday with a little over two weeks left in the season, but the match between the San Diego Wave and Angel City FC has already made history. San Diego will be debuting their new home at Snapdragon Stadium. In the process, the Wave will break the NWSL attendance record having sold out all available tickets to the match. This weekend could mark a seismic shift in the way people see the league in the future.
San Diego Wave will Break NWSL Attendance Record
What is Snapdragon Stadium
From 1967 to 2021, San Diego Stadium was a staple of southern California sports. It was home to the Chargers and Padres and hosted three Super Bowls, two World Series, and two MLB All-Star Games. It was demolished last year to make way for Snapdragon Stadium.
The stadium seats 35,000 and is located on the campus of San Diego State University at Mission Valley. In addition to hosting the Wave, it is also home to the San Diego State football team and the San Diego Legion of Major League Rugby. Future plans include hosting the 2023 World Lacrosse Championship. Also, it is up for hosting matches in the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups in 2031 and 2033.
— x – San Diego Wave FC (@sandiegowavefc) September 12, 2022
What are the Playoff Implications
The Wave is currently in third place in the standings with three matches left on their schedule. They are just one point behind the first-place Kansas City Current. The remaining fixtures are all against teams below the playoff line. This can work in their favor in terms of difficulty.
However, all three of those clubs are very much still in the playoff race and will be extra motivated to get results. The opponent is the team from Los Angeles, Angel City FC. They are just two points behind the final playoff spot and have four matches left in their campaign. Altogether, it sets up to be a fierce battle between the California expansion clubs.
🚨 Stop scrolling and check out the latest standings 🚨 pic.twitter.com/4dbWr83Qtv
— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) September 12, 2022
What Does it Mean For NWSL
No sleep 'til Snapdragon.
Thank you to everyone who marched with us this morning!
— x – San Diego Wave FC (@sandiegowavefc) September 15, 2022
NWSL has come a long way since its inception ten years ago. There were just eight teams in the inaugural season. They have since expanded to twelve. During that time the perception of women’s soccer drastically changed as well. The national team, which is represented by many of the league’s top players, has won two consecutive World Cups.
Their success on the pitch has led to a massive impact off the field, whether it is fighting for equal pay in their own sport or changing the perception of female athletics as a whole. Saturday anticipates breaking the previous attendance record by almost 10,000. This means that this is more than just a moment for southern California. This is a benchmark achievement for the entire sport. These are the best players in the world. They will now showcase their talent in front of 35,000 fans. This will not go unnoticed.
San Diego Wave FC vs Angel City FC kicks off at 10:00 PM ET on Saturday. The match is streaming on Paramount+ in the US and Twitch internationally.
Photo Credit: San Diego Wave FC’s Twitter Account on September 14, 2022.