Barça Femení Champions League Featured Femení, English

Barça Femení Fan Zone for UWCL Final

RAC1, the premier radio station in Catalunya, has reported that UEFA will install an official Fan Zone for Barça Femení fans.

Reporters Gerard Bellera and Laia Coll, who cover FC Barcelona for the radio station, spoke on programme Tu Diràs on Friday to explain that UEFA will set up the Fan Zone at the Women’s Champions League final in Bilbao on 25 May.

UEFA hold Fan Zones at a variety of major events, with several prepared for the men’s EURO 2024 in Germany. Touted as the ultimate place-to-be for fans unable to get tickets to matches, the purpose is to capture the experience and atmosphere of matchday in host cities. There were similar events during the women’s EURO 2022 in England, but the 2024 UWCL marks the first time a Women’s Champions League final has had a dedicated Fan Zone.

San Mamés with a crowd of nearly 50,000 during the 2019 Copa de la Reina / Athletic Club

And it just makes sense.

Barça Femení fan culture is massive, and with the host city in Spain, it is sure to be present. Plenty of fans will be, too, despite and because of ticketing mishaps. Besides the multitude of culers who bought general admission tickets months ago, Barça sold out its ticket allocation in a matter of hours. The supposed staggered release with initial priority for members didn’t happen, instead showing the exceptional demand. And when perpetual UWCL rivals Lyon didn’t sell all of their member allocation, more tickets were re-assigned to Barça – and sold out. Bellera and Coll said that UEFA don’t plan on making more tickets available, but there’s a few hundred that could go to Barça fans yet.

Besides the popularity of Barça Femení, in any Spanish host city, there’s also the specifically Bilbao factor. The history of this city in women’s football is itself deserving of the first UWCL final Fan Zone. When women’s football was nascent in Spain, its strongholds were in Catalonia and the Basque Country – and Bilbao maintained its pioneering ways when other cities regressed or waited. Athletic Club has a nigh-impeccable record of all its women’s games, and all women’s games played at San Mamés.

The stadium for the 2024 UWCL final has opened its doors for women’s football much more often than most – setting among the highest attendances for matches as far back as 2001, when the Spanish women’s top flight league as we know it had just started. Exactly 11 years ago today on 5 May 2013, Barcelona even won the league there, to a crowd of 26,000.

While San Mamés may have been given the chance to host as compensation for the COVID pandemic disrupting hosting the men’s EURO 2020, its record makes it a well-deserved host of European women’s football’s statement event. And its fortune to be in Spain, populated with Barça Femení fans, makes it the perfect time and place for the first UWCL final Fan Zone.