TORONTO — Canada will break a record without kicking a ball at the Women’s World Cup.
The 42,000 tickets already sold for Saturday’s tournament opener at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium between Canada and China erases the previous attendance mark of 29,953 for a women’s ‘A’ international on home soil. That record was set at the same venue in August 2003 when Canada blanked Mexico 8-0.
Saturday is a doubleheader in Edmonton, with the Netherlands playing New Zealand after the opening ceremonies and the Canada game. Capacity is expected to be between 50,000 and 52,000.
So more records could fall.
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The record for a Canadian national team match at Commonwealth Stadium is 51,936 for the 1994 men’s friendly between Canada and Brazil.
In 2002, the Edmonton venue was home to a crowd of 47,784 when Canada played the U.S. in the final of the inaugural FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship.
Organizers say the 52-game tournament has already sold more than 885,000 tickets. The number is slight misleading in that FIFA counts one ticket sold to a doubleheader as two tickets.
The 24-team World Cup runs through July 5 in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa and Moncton.