Fans pack PayPal Park for Bay FC’s inaugural home game

NBC Sports Bay Area

It was a sold-out crowd Saturday at PayPal Park in San Jose as the National Women’s Soccer League made its debut in the Bay Area.

About 18,000 soccer fans came out for Bay FC’s inaugural home opener. The final score may not have been what they hoped for as the Houston Dash beat Bay FC 3-2. But it didn’t dim the excitement for Bay Area fans.

“I almost cried said Foster City resident Jennifer Mihaljevic. “It’s so emotional seeing so many people support women, women in athletics. You don’t often see that, but you know, this league is going to be amazing and I’m really excited to see it.”

The first 5,000 fans to enter PayPal Park were gifted commemorative home opener pins.

Mega fans showed up in their Bay FC merch.

“I played when I was a little kid, when girls just got to start playing. So this is a full-circle to see these women with all these people here and being paid to do something they love. It’s awesome,” said San Jose resident Diana Bishop.

Teens and kids sported jerseys and sweatshirts from their club soccer teams and tournaments.

Bay FC was co-founded by national soccer stars with Bay Area roots, which Are Brandi Chastain, Aly Wagner, Danielle Slaton and Leslie Osborne.

Jenny Voigt Marley of Santa Cruz grew up watching them dominate the sport. Now, she’s a Bay FC season ticket holder.

“It’s my first-time ever having season tickets to anything. I played soccer my whole life and I love it. I love watching women soccer especially, and I just couldn’t turn it down. I’m so excited we got the opportunity,” she said.

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