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San Diego Wave set to break NWSL attendance record at stadium opener

Sofia Jakobsson, Kelsey Turnbow, Alex Morgan and Taylor Kornieck (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

The San Diego Wave are set to break the NWSL attendance record next month when they open their new stadium against Angel City FC.

The team has sold more than 27,000 tickets to the Sept. 17 match, which would be a record for a standalone NWSL game. The previous mark was set in 2019, when 25,218 fans attended a match between the Portland Thorns and the North Carolina Courage.

The Wave will be debuting their home stadium, which is scheduled to open next month on the San Diego State campus. With the attendance record already all but assured, the expansion club has set its sights higher, aiming to sell out Snapdragon Stadium, which can hold more than 32,000 fans.

Star forward Alex Morgan announced the news via the team’s Twitter account, saying that the team wants to “shatter” the record.

“I think it’s a testament to women’s soccer in the U.S. and the NWSL, and the San Diego Wave and what we’re building here,” Morgan told ESPN. “To see this number today, right now, and just knowing that we’re gonna get a sellout, it’s just an incredible feeling because this club set its mind on breaking the single-match attendance in league history.

“They’ve done that now, but the goals don’t stop for this club and I’m just really proud to be a part of that.”

The expansion club, which was announced last year and began play in March, has had an impressive start to its inaugural season. The Wave sit second in the league standings with 28 points, with an 8-5-4 record so far.

Morgan has been a big part of that success, enjoying one of her best NWSL seasons to date with a league-leading 12 goals.

“Honestly, it’s really hard to exceed my expectations, but this club and this team [have] done that, and I’m very happy to be part of it,” she said, adding in that part of her success on the field has been due to the fact that she feels “really settled” in her home state of California.

“It’s just been a dream start for the club,” she continued. “But it’s now, can we sustain that and secure a spot in the playoffs and make sure we continue on this upward trend?”

She’s also looking forward to opening up the club’s new home, which she called “beautiful.”

“Not often in my lengthy career have I been able to open a brand new stadium, and know that’s home to the San Diego Wave, that’s home to a women’s soccer team where week in and week out, fans show up and have fan festivities around it,” she said. “We’re doing a lot to bring fans out on that first game, and I think it’s gonna continue to bring fans back.”