Fremantle’s AFLW side are set to be cheered on by a record crowd when they lock horns with Collingwood at Perth’s Optus Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
An astounding 54,000 tickets at $2 a pop have been sold for the Round 2 match, but it remains to be seen how many of those people will rock up on the day.
The record AFLW crowd stands at 24,500, which was achieved in last season’s opener between Carlton and Collingwood at Ikon Park.
That crowd figure is set to be smashed this Saturday.
But it is another even more impressive crowd record for a women’s domestic game in Australia that is set to be blown away.
In 1929, 41,000 fans attended a women’s exhibition game at Adelaide Oval between employees from a department store and a pyjama factory.
Fremantle’s AFLW side also have the chance to surpass the current record for a men’s Dockers home game — 42,213 set in 2006 against West Coast at Subiaco Oval.
The huge level of interest for Saturday’s game has been sparked by Perth’s new $1.5 billion stadium, with the public keen to experience the State’s new pride and joy.
“It will be an incredible atmosphere. We’ll absorb that energy,” Fremantle’s AFLW coach Michelle Cowan said.
“I think you just use that energy, and it’s all behind you. The girls are excited. It’s not a crowd they’ve played in front of before. I know they’ll enjoy the opportunity.”
Although the crowd figure will form an intriguing side plot to Saturday’s contest, it’s on the field where Fremantle will be aiming to prove a point.
The Dockers endured a scoreless first half in their season-opening loss to the Bulldogs and they can ill afford to start the seven-round season at 0-2 if they want to reach the finals.
The Magpies also started their season with a 3.4 (22) to 2.2 (14) defeat to Carlton.
Collingwood will be without star Sarah D’Arcy, who copped a two-match ban for kicking Sarah Hosking in the groin.
And the Magpies sprung a surprise by axing marquee Moana Hope following her limp display against the Blues last week.