Historic Chicago Red Stars soccer match at Wrigley Field breaks NWSL attendance record

Wrigley Field hosts 1st women's sporting event in 80 years

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team and Maher Kawash WLS logo
Sunday, June 9, 2024
Chicago Red Stars match at Wrigley Field breaks NWSL attendance record
The Chicago Red Stars soccer match at Wrigley Field Saturday broke NWSL's attendance record in the the venue's first women's sports event in 80 years.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- For the first time in 80 years, a professional women's sporting event was held at Wrigley Field.

The soccer match between the Chicago Red Stars and Bay FC Saturday night broke the National Women's Soccer League's attendance record, drawing in 35,038 soccer fans to the friendly confines.

ABC7 Chicago is now streaming 24/7. Click here to watch

The Red Stars ended up losing the game 1-2 to Bay FC after scoring a goal in the final minutes of the match. It was the NWSL's first-ever match held at Wrigley Field.

The city is used to seeing a ton of energy across Wrigleyville on Saturday afternoons, but this week it was the Red Stars who brought that atmosphere. The Red Stars have played most of their home matches at Seatgeek Stadium in Bridgeview, so the atmosphere at Wrigley was special.

The downpour of rain earlier in the day did not stop the passionate fans from packing the house.

"This one was pretty intense... it's cold outside, but it's fun to watch them play," one Red Stars fan told ABC7.

Although it ended in a loss for the team, there are plenty of other wins found through the experience with over 35,000 people showing up.

"It was disappointing they lost, but it was fun to watch," another Red Stars fan said.

The club hosted a family fan fest at Gallagher Way, outside of Wrigley Field, staring at 10 a.m. The fan fest was free and open to the public, with an array of activities, giveaways, food, drinks and a live DJ.

Billy Diamond, who is in town from Arizona, explained how fun the atmosphere is.

"Absolutely insane. I love it for these women, it's great," Diamond said. "The whole sports coming up, women's sports in general's a great thing."

Fans of all ages showed up, including some young soccer players.

"I think it's awesome," a fan named Lauren said. 'We all play soccer, and I think just seeing all the support there is for the sport... I think it's really inspiring."

The fans now hope there will be plenty more women's soccer matches at the Wrigleyville federal landmark.

"Wrigley is special in itself, but having women's sports here in the grand stage... the fans... it was just a special thing to share with my daughter," Red Stars fan Travis Hunter said.

The Ricketts family has ownership of both the Chicago Red Stars and the Chicago Cubs.

Red Stars soccer player Mallory Swanson is married to Cubs baseball player Dansby Swanson.