June 13, 2019 / 2:36 PM / 12 days ago

Women's World Cup on course for record-breaking turnout - study

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Women's World Cup - Group F - United States v Thailand - Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims, France - June 11, 2019 Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. celebrates after the match with fans REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

(Reuters) - More than 1.5 million supporters are expected to attend matches at the World Cup in France as the tournament is poised to set a new benchmark for the rising popularity of the women’s game, according to a study published on Thursday.

Research conducted by Women's World Cup in Numbers here, which looks at the trends and numbers behind the growth of the men's and women's World Cups since 1991, shows attendance figures are set to peak at a record 1,716,000 across 52 matches.

The previous edition in Canada four years ago saw more than 1.3 million spectators attend games.

More than 270,000 fans have attended the opening six days, which have already seen the United States, the defending champions, seal a record 13-0 victory over Thailand in Reims.

The 45,000-seater Parc des Princes in Paris was packed as the hosts defeated South Korea 4-0 in their opener last week.

A total of 44 goals have been scored in the opening 15 matches, at an average of nearly three goals per game, to stay on course to eclipse the previous record of 146 from the 2015 edition — the first time the tournament had 24 teams.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber

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