“When I first started playing with the national team, we rarely had anybody watching our games,” Carli Lloyd, a four-time Women’s World Cup soccer star and now a Fox Sports analyst, recalled in a recent interview with Ad Age. “The first World Cup I attended in 2007 was a World Cup, but it didn’t feel like it was a World Cup. We’ve come a long way.”
The 2023 Women’s World Cup should definitely feel like one. The field has expanded from 24 to 32 teams, the prize money is greater, and there’s drama in the U.S. defending its back-to-back Cup titles against the world.
Below, everything brands and fans need to know about the tournament, which begins in 15 days.
When and where is the World Cup?
It begins July 20 in Australia and New Zealand and concludes with the championship game scheduled for Aug. 20 at Stadium Australia in Sydney.
The tournament consists of 32 national teams (up from 24 in the last Women’s World Cup in 2019). The teams are divided into eight groups of four. Those squads play round-robin with the top two teams from each group advancing to a 16-team knockout round.
Team USA is the two-time defending champion. It is in group E along with Vietnam, Portugal and the Netherlands, which the U.S. defeated 2-0 in the championship of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. The U.S. women’s group games will be contested in Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand.
FIFA said the Women’s World Cup would be the largest standalone women’s sporting event in the world, reaching an estimated 2 billion people and 1.5 million spectators.