Home Sports Red Stars break NWSL attendance record with a packed Wrigley Field

Red Stars break NWSL attendance record with a packed Wrigley Field

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June 8, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, United States; General view during the first half between Bay FC and the Chicago Red Stars at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Stars played a special game at Wrigley Field. (Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports)

Wrigley Field was the scene of NWSL history on Saturday, through a match between the Chicago Red Stars and Bay FC.

The Red Stars’ home game broke the NWSL single-game attendance record with 35,038 fans at the 110-year-old stadium. The team announced in the second half.. The previous record was 34,130, held by the Seattle Reign in the last game of Megan Rapinoe’s career.

While Wrigley Field normally has a capacity of 41,649, the adjustments needed to convert it into a football field reduced that number by a few thousand. Still, the stadium was pretty full even as rain fell on the Chicago fans.

Unfortunately, that record crowd didn’t get to enjoy a victory, as Bay FC beat the Red Stars 2-1 with goals from Kiki Pickett and Joelle Anderson. Penelope Hocking at least got Chicago on the scoreboard in stoppage time.

The game fulfilled the small details. Maybelle Blair, pitcher for the Peoria Redwings of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, handed out the match ball. One person also noted that whoever maintains the iconic Wrigley Field flags had replaced the MLB teams with the NWSL classification.

In the clubhouse, Red Stars star Mallory Pugh. she was surprised with flowers in her locker from her husband, Chicago Cubs star Dansby Swanson.

Equipping Wrigley Field for football was no easy task. A timelapse shows a sizeable grounds crew covering much of the infield and foul territory with grass the day before:

The Red Stars and the Cubs have a connection through their ownership, as Red Stars owner Laura Ricketts is a member of the Ricketts family that has controlled the Cubs since 2009.

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