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UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 one year on: impact study shows major boost across Europe

The most-watched Women’s EURO ever has been a catalyst for attendance, economic and participation growth.

England celebrate their victory Women's EURO victory at Wembley
England celebrate their victory Women's EURO victory at Wembley Getty Images

Following the release of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 post-tournament flash impact report last October, UEFA and the English Football Association (The FA) have unveiled the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Post-Tournament Report.

The report outlines the key post-tournament impacts, including developments in participation and interest in women’s football, the opportunities created at the highest levels of the professional game, economic growth and the longer-term legacy of the tournament across football and wider society.

Nadine Kessler, UEFA Managing Director of Women’s Football:

"It is already one year since the start of UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, but its legacy continues to deliver and underline the power of football.

"Not only has the tournament left a lasting and unshakeable legacy on women’s and girls’ football in England, but it has touched people and inspired change across Europe and the world. There are more girls and women participating in the game, more fans of the game attending matches in domestic leagues, and more visibility of the game than ever before – UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 has undoubtedly played its part in that."

View the full Ernst and Young report

Key findings of the impact study

Economic benefits of hosting Women’s EURO

Tournament host cities enjoyed significant economic benefits from hosting UEFA Women’s EURO 2022. This was driven by record crowds, the high proportion of international visitors among these attendees, and their spending patterns during their stay. The expenditure incurred as part of tournament delivery and the legacy programme were also key drivers of economic activity and employment.

Sweden supporters in Leigh
Sweden supporters in LeighThe FA via Getty Images for the

The tournament generated economic activity of £81 million (approximately €94m) across its eight host cities. UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 also supported 1,200 full-time equivalent jobs (created and supported by the total direct, indirect and induced effects of the tournament) across the host cities.

Attendances of women’s football matches rise across Europe

Professional women’s football has experienced a significant surge in interest throughout Europe over the past 12 months.

The UEFA Women’s Champions League 2022/23 season (group stage onwards) achieved a total attendance of 681,175 – a 23% increase on the 2021/22 season and a record average match attendance of 11,166. There were also several national attendance records broken and domestic women’s competition crowds continued to rise across the continent.

AS Roma set a new record for a women's match in Italy when they hosted Barcelona in the Champions League
AS Roma set a new record for a women's match in Italy when they hosted Barcelona in the Champions LeagueUEFA via Getty Images

Here are some examples:

• In England, the total attendance during the 2022/23 Women’s Super League (WSL) season surpassed 680,000, 172% higher than the 2021/2022 season, with average attendance per game-week nearly tripling. This was supported by the use of larger stadiums.

• In Germany, the women’s Bundesliga achieved a 231% attendance increase during the 2022/23 season compared to 2021/22.

• AS Roma broke an attendance record for a women’s football match in Italy during their UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-final home leg with 39,454 fans.

• In Portugal, attendance records fell one after the other in recent months, including a record 27,000 fans in attendance at the Lisbon derby between Benfica and Sporting at the Estádio da Luz.

• In Wales, Wrexham AFC set a new women’s domestic fixture attendance record with 9,511 spectators, breaking the previous record of 5,175 set in October of 2022.

Participation increase and change of perceptions

The FA reported the highest year-on-year participation increase among girls under 16. Data provided by the FA were based on estimated figures of total participation in any type of football – capturing formal and casual football participation – and showed there was a 140% increase in participation levels in the season following the tournament, followed by women aged 16 and older (53% increase). This amounts to 2.3 million more women and girls playing football post-tournament compared to the prior season. Additionally, 84% of surveyed spectators say that UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 has improved their perceptions of women’s football.

2.3 million more women and girls in England are playing football post-tournament compared to the prior season
2.3 million more women and girls in England are playing football post-tournament compared to the prior seasonGetty Images for The National Lo

Already prior to the tournament, an increase in female participation was noticeable across the continent. Between the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons, there was an increase of 14% in registered female players under 18 across Europe, and a 7% rise in players aged 18 and older. Additionally, UEFA’s bespoke initiatives, including 'Football in Schools' and 'UEFA Playmakers', have seen a rise in participation of 19% and 49% respectively across Europe year-on-year in 2021/22.

View the full Ernst and Young report