Women Football: Super Weekend in danger after low attendance

Ada Hegerberg super weekendOlympique Lyon's Ada Hegerberg of Norway receives the Best Player UEFA 2015/16 Award from UEFA President Angel Maria Villar during the draw for the 2016/2017 Champions League at Monaco's Grimaldi stadium in Monaco, August 25th, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Women Football: Super Weekend in danger after low attendance

The top series for women in football is pleased with the implementation of this year’s Super Weekend, but not with the attendance. There are now serious doubts about the future of the happening.

All the top series clubs were gathered at Vålerenga Stadium in Oslo for so-called Super Weekend this week. Important points were at stake on the pitch, outside of which there were activities and events for big and small.

Almost everything was laid out for a really Super Weekend in the capital of Norway, but the general population failed to attend – Again.

The exact figures on how many persons poked around during the weekend are not clear, but according to General Manager of Top Football women, Hege Jørgensen, it was around 4,000, which is almost twice as many as last year.

“We had a fantastic event. It was a bustling crowd out there, with lots of happy children who met their idols. There were exciting matches and a lot of media attention. We are very happy with that,” Jørgensen tells NTB.

“The part we are not as happy with is the engagement of the spectators,” she continues about the event. People failed to turn out, even though there were free admissions to all games.

Difficult to explain

When LSK Women (Lillestrøm) – who secured a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League – met Sandviken (Bergen) on Sunday, there was a couple of hundred spectators. Even in the Oslo derby between Vålerenga and Lyn on Saturday, there were less than 1,300 in attendance.

Jørgensen says it is difficult to explain why there are not any more:

“We do not want to blame it on anything or anyone, but it is about building a culture of attending women’s matches. We do not have that in Norway. We hoped we would see an increase in the number of spectators.”

“When it comes to the Super Weekend, we are proud that the clubs dare to join this concept. There is no other place [in the world] that this is done. We see that it is difficult to mobilise around teams that do not have a geographical affiliation to where the Super Weekend is organised.”

Jørgensen says there is a great deal of interest in international championships and matches, but they are struggling to create awareness about the Norwegian League and club football.

Super Weekend in danger

Last year’s event wasn’t swamped by spectators either, so now the question is whether there will be a Super Weekend next season at all.

“We have agreed that we should reconsider. There is no prestige involved for us,” Jørgensen explains. She continues to say that they will also consider whether there are alternatives.

“Does this mean that the desire to do something beyond the ordinary is present, but that it is not certain that it will be a Super Weekend as we know it today?

“Yes absolutely. It’s an assessment. Now we have some time to look through things and talk to the clubs. They are the ones who decide and tell us what to do.”

The women’s football has experienced a sharp increase in attention, both for league matches and The Super Weekend, both in the regular and social media, which one is dependent on in order to further develop a possible future Super Weekend.

“That’s the dilemma. We see that it is a development, it is a whole new concept, and it takes time to establish concepts. So the question is how impatient we ought to be.”

“It must be balanced with everything we devote to resources in implementing this. Because that is significant,” Jørgensen concludes.

© #Norway Today
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