Women’s Clasico set to break attendance record


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Over 80,000 tickets were snapped up in just three days for the Women’s Champions League quarterfinal between Barcelona and Clasico rivals Real Madrid at Camp Nou in March, a spokesman at the Catalan club confirmed to ESPN.

Barca usually play their home games at the 6,000-seater Estadi Johan Cruyff at the club’s training ground, but the second leg of their European tie against Madrid on March 28 has been moved to Camp Nou.

It will be just the second time the European champions have played a competitive game at the 99,354-capacity stadium and the first time with fans. Last season’s 5-0 win over Espanyol was the first but it was played behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions.

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March’s fixture against Madrid is set to break the attendance record for a women’s club game. The existing high is 60,739, set when Atletico Madrid hosted Barca at the Wanda Metropolitano in 2019.

Officially, the record crowd for a women’s game is 90,185 for the 1999 World Cup final between the United States and China at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. If Camp Nou is full on the day of the game, it will also break that record.

However, some estimates suggest 110,000 people attended Denmark’s win over Mexico at the Azteca Stadium in the 1971 World Cup final, a tournament that was not officially sanctioned.

Barca initially only made 70,000 tickets available for the Clasico in March due to existing restrictions on attendances in Spain caused by the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Members were given exclusive access to those tickets last Wednesday, with at least 35,000 being given away for free. On Thursday, the tickets went on general sale and by Friday all 70,000 had gone, leading to an additional “10,000 to 15,000” being made available, per a spokesman at the club.

Those tickets soon went as well. The club are now considering making more available and are optimistic there will be no restrictions in place when the game is played. First, though, they must factor in how many will be given to Real Madrid fans, commitments to sponsors and the high demand for tickets from players’ families and friends.

Barca have been the dominant team in Spain and Europe over the last 18 months, winning the Treble last season, including a first-ever Champions League trophy. They have won all 23 games they have played this season.

Madrid, meanwhile, are relatively new to the women’s game having absorbed CD Tacon in 2019. However, they finished second in the league last season and are already emerging as one of Barca’s biggest rivals in Spain.

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