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Record crowd welcomes footy to Optus Stadium

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 10: The Dockers run onto the field during the round two AFLW match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Collingwood Magpies at Optus Stadium on February 10, 2018 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images/AFL Media)
Fremantle’s AFLW clash with Collingwood on Saturday at Optus Stadium has broken an 89-year-old record.

Fremantle’s AFLW clash with Collingwood on Saturday at Optus Stadium has broken an 89-year-old record for a women’s game of Australian rules football.

With 41,975 fans streaming through the gates, the Purple Army helped eclipse the attendance of 41,000 set in 1929 at an exhibition football game at Adelaide Oval.

It was one of two records that fell on the day, as Fremantle celebrated its club debut at their new home ground.

The crowd eclipsed the NAB AFL Women’s record crowd of 24,500 set in round one of the 2017 season between Carlton and Collingwood at IKON Park.

The $2 entry fee also raised $91,000 for the Starlight Children’s Foundation and the Freo Dockers Foundation.

Crowds arrived early with queues exceeding 200m before the gates opened at 2.30pm.

Waiting fans were treated to a number of activities at the Southern Oval from 1.30pm, including face painting, meeting and getting signatures from Freo AFLW and AFL players, as well as football games.

Freo’s AFL side undertook their first training session at the ground with the crowd already exceeding 20,000, before making way to the AFLW team’s warm-up.

While Collingwood got the jump on Freo with the opening two goals, Ashlee Atkins got Freo rolling with a long-range goal to kick the club’s first goal at Optus Stadium.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs