Darcy Vescio of Carlton celebrates with fans after the round 1 AFLW match between the Carlton Blues and the Collingwood Magpies at Ikon Park in Melbourne, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (AAP Image/Joe Castro)
Darcy Vescio of Carlton celebrates with fans after the round 1 AFLW match between the Carlton Blues and the Collingwood Magpies at Ikon Park in Melbourne, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (AAP Image/Joe Castro) AAP/ Joe Castro

Historic launch of women's AFL league a sell-out

THE launch of Australia's women's AFL league was so successful that more than 1000 would-be spectators were turned away from the stadium.

Carlton took on Collingwood in the season opener at Princes Park in Melbourne.

The Blues secured a 35-point win over their rivals in front of a sell-out crowd of 24,568 people inside the stadium.

Officials declared a lockout halfway through the game's first quarter and AFL chief executive officer Gillon McLachlan fronted more than 1000 people left outside the stadium to apologise.

"It's an amazing turnout and clearly we're a little overwhelmed by the response," he said in a statement.

Victoria Police estimated up to 2000 people were locked out the stadium thanks to the overwhelming response from AFL fans.

Plenty of people also watched from home. The game got a national TV audience of 1.019 million across free-to-air and Foxtel.

Footy fans poured out their love for the women's league on social media, sharing photos of the packed crowd.

Former Aussie cricketer Mel Jones shared a photo on her Twitter page poking fun at the idea people don't want to watch women's sports.

The next match in the AFLW season will be played between Adelaide and GWS at Adelaide's Thebarton Oval.

The Western Bulldogs will also play Fremantle at Melbourne's Whitten Oval today.

AFL is not the only footy league to increase the profile of female players.

The NRL inked its first female player contracts last year when the Cronulla Sharks signed on players like Ruan Sims to create a women's 9's side.

Australia will also host the women's Rugby League World Cup later in 2017.



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