In its first season at Cheney Stadium, Reign FC broke home attendance records. Following the club’s final home match of the season, the club set a single-season record for attendance, averaging a crowd of 5,213 per home match this season.
The average represents an increase of 1,389 from Reign FC’s average in 2018, their final season at Memorial Stadium, as well as an increase of over 600 from the club’s best ever single-season average in 2016.
Reign FC’s 2-0 win over rivals Portland Thorns FC on Sunday, September 29 saw a crowd of 7,370 come to witness the action at Cheney Stadium. It was the club’s second-ever highest attendance for a home match, finishing second behind the crowd of 7,479 that attended club’s World Cup Homecoming match against the Chicago Red Stars on July 28.
“I want to thank the Tacoma community,” Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski said after the Portland match. “Not just the community but everyone that came to these games. There were so many people, I’m sure, that came from Seattle and everywhere around. It’s a rivalry that everybody wants to be a part of. Everyone wants to experience this and I’m glad that we didn’t disappoint them.”
In total, 62,551 people came to see Reign FC play at Cheney Stadium this season, surpassing the previous total of 48,449 in 2017.
The club rewarded its loyal fans at home, posting a 6-3-3 record that saw them clinch a playoff spot with the victory over Portland. Forward Megan Rapinoe said that the energy added by the fans gave the club a boost when playing at home.
“I think the atmosphere has been really good down here,” Rapinoe said. “People seem to be really into it. Obviously, (Sunday) was a great atmosphere. Hopefully, next year we’ll be able to build on that and be able to have even more fans.”
Including the matches against Portland and Chicago, four of Reign FC’s five highest-attended home matches took place in 2019. In addition, seven of Reign FC’s 12 home matches this season rank among the top 15 highest-attended home matches in club history.
“To see the community get behind us and for there to be a women’s professional soccer team here for the first time ever and see this kind of turnout has been so awesome,” midfielder Allie Long said. “I feel like it’s only going to grow. We’re setting the bar and I think next year is going to be really exciting. We’ve built this atmosphere and they created that by coming and supporting us, showing us love every weekend. It’s been really cool to see. We’ve been extremely grateful. It helps us while we’re playing. To see the stadium full is such a great feeling.”