Australian sporting history was made at Optus Stadium yesterday afternoon, with a record 41,975 people turning out to watch the Fremantle Dockers women's team defeat Collingwood – the biggest ever crowd for a women's sporting match in Australia.
The attendance eclipsed the 89-year-old record for a women's sporting match, set in 1929 at Adelaide Oval – and smashed the existing AFL Women's record crowd of 24,500.
Fremantle defeated Collingwood 6.4 (40) to 4.3 (27) in what was the first ever football game at the stadium.
The match also raised tens of thousands of dollars for charity, with all ticket proceeds going to the Starlight Foundation and the Fremantle Dockers Foundation.
Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray:
"What a moment for women's sport in this State. Not only was the first football match played at Optus Stadium, a women's game – it was the biggest women's game Australia has ever seen, in any sport.
"WA people should be proud for coming out in force to support the players, and what a special day for each and every Fremantle Dockers player out on the field."
Comments attributed to Women's Interests Minister Simone McGurk:
"Congratulations to both teams, the crowd and the AFL Women's competition.
"What a momentous match – sporting history has now been written with our State's name in bold writing. This sends a strong message that women's sport is alive and well in Australia but thriving in our State.
"To see so many young girls in their Freo footy jumpers watching on and seeing what is possible for them, it was an extraordinary experience.
"I'm extremely proud to be call myself a Western Australian and even prouder to be the Member for Fremantle and Minister for Women's Interests."