Lack of World Cup viewership worries locals
Published Sunday, July 7, 2019 7:58PM EDT
Some are raising concern over the seemingly small amount of people watching the Women’s World Cup in the region.
While tens of thousands packed The Stade De Lyon in France to watch USA beat Netherlands 2-0 on Sunday, popular Kitchener establishment Lisboa Bakery and Grill had plenty of empty seats.
“We only have four people watching [at the moment],” said manager Amanda Sarrecchia.
Kitchener resident Adolfo Pedrazas, says he was watching the game because it’s what everyone does back in South America where he is originally from.
“It’s two of the best teams in the world,” he said. “What’s exciting about it is it’s more tactical. It’s like a game of chess.”
Sarrecchia says they do quite a bit of soccer promotion ahead of times for the games, but noticed a big difference this year when compared to men’s world cup games.
“You could get 100 people standing on the sidewalk alone plus full inside,” she said. “You’re looking at 100 people between inside and the patio and then the grand stand fills up too.”
Lauren Carde, a manager and captain of a female soccer team in Guelph, is watching the game at home.
The mother of three daughters says she’s bothered by the difference between men’s and women’s games.
“I think it’s big issue,” she said. “I think you se it in funding. It’s much easier for male athletes to get funding than females. You see it in TV coverage.
“We can’t say it’s equal for men and women sports. I don’t think we’re anywhere close.”
The scheduling of other soccer matches with the Copa America and Gold Cup finals has stirred up controvery with World Cup players and fans.
“You’re competing with three major events,” said Carde.” That would never happen with the men’s World Cup.”
FIFA’s president announced prior to the World Cup title match he is seeking to expand the tournament from 24 to 32 teams and double the prize money for women.
Earlier this week, Nike announced the USA women’s home jersey is their number one selling soccer jersey online for both men and women’s teams in a single season.