Women's FA Cup final at Wembley set for record crowd

By Jo CurrieBBC Sport
Wembley Stadium
Wembley will stage the match for the first time

A record crowd is expected for this year's Women's FA Cup final on 1 August, after the Football Association revealed 24,000 tickets have been sold for the showpiece.

Wembley Stadium will host the final for the first time.

The current attendance record is 24,582, set at Nottingham Forest's City Ground in 2008.

This year's final, which is live on the BBC, will be contested between Chelsea Ladies and Notts County Ladies.

In November, England women made history when they played Germany in their first match at the national stadium, drawing a crowd of 45,619.

The FA says that while the full 90,000 ground capacity will be available for the final, the aim is to attract a crowd of at least 34,000, which will fill the lower bowl.

"We're pretty confident that we're going to exceed that record," Katie Brazier, head of women's leagues and competitions at the FA, told BBC Sport.

"I have no doubt we'll have issued well in excess of that and hopefully we'll be hitting our 34,000 target."

Fans at Wembley
In November 45,619 fans watched England Women play their first ever match at Wembley

Last season, 15,098 fans saw Arsenal lift the trophy at Stadium MK - but Brazier said England's third-place finish at the Women's World Cup has increased demand for tickets.

The attendance for the 2013 final at the Keepmoat Stadium was 4,988, as Arsenal beat Bristol Academy 3-0.

"We've seen a great uplift following the success of the Lionesses in Canada. Their success has put women's football on the map and people are realising it's a great product to watch," she said.

"That was proved last weekend with the WSL attendances, which were right up on previous years with crowds at several of the grounds at over 2,000."

The FA says making Wembley the permanent home for the Women's FA Cup final is part of their "long-term plans" and that next year's event will also be held there.