The UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 ticket ballot application window has officially opened, as the countdown to the tournament kicks off in style.
Sheffield will be front and centre of the biggest women’s European sport event in history after being hand-picked as one of nine host cities for the hotly-anticipated UEFA Women’s EURO 2022.
Bramall Lane, home to Sheffield United, is guaranteed to host at least four matches throughout the tournament which kicks off at Old Trafford on July 6.
The matches include the Netherlands vs Sweden, Sweden vs Switzerland, Switzerland vs Netherlands, and a semi-final match on July 26.
The world’s leading stars traded plush green pitches for swanky red carpets on Thursday as the draw for the European showpiece took place at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse.
The ticket ballot application window is now officially open and former England captain Rio Ferdinand, who racked up 81 caps for the Three Lions, is backing the summer football bonanza to blaze a trail. The 42-year-old said: “Fans shouldn’t miss out on their chance to be at the biggest women’s EURO ever and enter the ticket ballot now. I can’t wait to witness Wembley stadium for the final – its due to be the biggest European crowd for a women’s football match ever.
“What a moment for the women’s game that will leave such a massive legacy, inspiring huge numbers to be part of it in the future, whether its playing or watching. It’s going to be massive next year – I’ve been told It’s set to be history-making for the sport which will be unreal to be a part of and not something you’d want to miss.
“It will definitely [bring about] more awareness of the women’s game. If girls out there get to a game or watch the tournament on TV (for free!) and think you know what, I want to play football, for fun or have aspirations to one day be an International footballer. Then amazing. Everyone deserves the chance to play.”
Sheffield City Council, Sheffield United FC and Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA react to the draw:
Councillor Julie Grocutt, Deputy Leader at Sheffield City Council, said: “We are so proud to play such a significant role in this tournament. Watching the draw in anticipation yesterday was really exciting and with the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland all playing on home turf at Bramall Lane it’s going to be a summer to remember.
“Sheffield will extend a warm welcome to all visitors and we can’t wait to show fans and players all that our great city has to offer. We’re extremely grateful for this opportunity, Europe’s elite female footballers playing in our city, inspiring so many women and girls to get involved in football and leaving a great legacy behind.
“With applications for volunteering and the ballot for tickets now open, I encourage everyone to apply, it’s going to be a phenomenal event and I want all Sheffielders to experience the Women’s EUROS right here in the home of football.”
Dave McCarthy, Head of Operations at Sheffield United Football Club, said: "Everyone at Sheffield United was delighted following the draw. I have to say that the Netherlands v Sweden is a barnstorming fixture and one that will be certain to attract a huge crowd to Bramall Lane. The Sweden and Switzerland and the Dutch’s game with the Swiss are really attractive games that will be great to deliver on behalf of the club with my Blades.
"The match schedule being announced has really brought home the size of the tournament and for the city of Sheffield it’s going to be a festival that Sheffield United will be proud to be at the centre of."
The public ballot will close on 16 November and remaining tickets will go on general sale from mid-February 2022 ahead of the tournament curtain-raiser at Old Trafford on July 6.
The showcase final takes place at Wembley on July 31 and with the women’s game profile continuing to sky-rocket, the total attendance record for a UEFA Women’s EURO – currently 240,045 for Netherlands 2017 – is expected to be more than doubled.
Bramall Lane will be one of ten host venues for the competition with London, Manchester and Southampton also featuring.
And Brighton, Rotherham, Milton Keynes, Trafford and Wigan & Leigh make up the cities that will welcome women’s football’s most highly-rated stars.
Sheffield’s selection as a major host venue will see fans flock to the city and current England full back Lucy Bronze, whose side slipped to a semi-final defeat against home favourites the Netherlands at EURO 2017, added: “I'm so excited. We've been waiting for these home Euros for a long long time considering how it got pushed back and cancelled last year.
“As players, we're super excited to be playing as the home nation and playing all around the country in front of our fans. All the groups are pretty strong. It's crazy now because the Euros now, so many teams are good whereas in years gone by, it was Germany, Germany and Norway. Now, it's Spain, Sweden, France are good, so's England, so's Holland - the list goes on and on. It's exciting.”
The UEFA Women’s EURO England 2022 ticket ballot application window is now open and closes 16 November. Find out more and enter the public ballot for tickets: www.uefa.com/womenseuro/ticketing