FIFA U-20 attendance in Montreal a disappointment, organizers say
In Montreal fewer than 10,000 spectators, on average, attended each match of women’s soccer
The FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup wrapped up in Montreal with organizers admitting there is room to improve before the senior Women's FIFA World Cup comes to the city next year.
Overall, U-20 organizers said they're pleased with the combined attendance across the four host cities of Montreal, Toronto, Moncton and Edmonton.
In all, more than 288,000 people across all four venues attended a match.
But Montreal did not quite live up to expectations, with an average of fewer than 10,000 fans in attendance per match.
For some games, the Olympic Stadium felt empty with about 5,000 seats filled.
“Five thousand people, to be quite honest with you whether its Olympic Stadium or any other stadium...even in a 20,000-seat stadium, it’s still not going to be the best,” said Victor Montagliani, Chairman of the National Organizing Committee and Canadian Soccer Association President.
There is some additional pressure to turn next year's Women's FIFA World Cup into a booming success — some hope to use the event as a showcase for a bid to land the Men’s World Cup in 2026.
“We have a lot of international events and I think that we are connecting all the dots to make sure that by 2026 we will get the World Cup,” said Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre.
“It's very important that Montreal gets back to that level that we've seen in the past with the support of these types of events and I'm confident that it will,” Montagliani said.