ROTHERHAM has bid a sunny farewell to the 2022 Women's Euros — and the benefits could be felt for years to come.
Last Saturday's quarter-final clash between France and the Netherlands was the fourth and final Euros fixture at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Attendances at the games, which also involved Italy and Iceland, totalled 33,870, averaging out at nearly 8,500.
Overseas supporters mixed with local fans in the matchday town centre fans parks and the name of Rotherham was beamed worldwide on live TV.
“We had a great response from the people of Rotherham and particularly girls and women, which is most important,” said Paul Douglas, chief operating officer at Rotherham United.
“One of the big legacies of this tournament will be the impact and hopefully the quality of the football seen on the pitch at the New York will have inspired loads of local girls to get involved in football and to play the game.
“That's what we'd all love to see.”
Rotherham United women and girls will be among the special guests at the Millers' first league game of the season against Swansea to celebrate the end of the Women's Euros.
Club secretary Val Hoyle attended three of the matches.
She said: “The atmosphere was really good and when you see people walking away from the ground and the girls are full of it, it's encouraging.
“I hope something comes of it and there will be more interest in women's and girls football here in Rotherham itself.”
The NYS underwent upgrades and improvements to bring it up to the standards of tournament organisers UEFA.
The feedback from them has been positive, underlining the venue's reputation as a genuine stage for international football.
Mr Douglas added: “It was just amazing to see all the razzmatazz going on around and for us to get good feedback from UEFA on how everything had been handled.
“A big thanks to our chairman, Tony (Stewart) for letting us do it and to Rotherham Borough Council who were part of the joint bid. Without their efforts it wouldn't have happened anyway.
“With us, they had a vision from the outset how it would look.
“There was a hell of a lot of work in it and attention to detail because they are very exacting at UEFA and we got it done.
“Seeing the Rotherham name up in lights in the graphics was fabulous, it really was.
“We'll never forget it. It's something they can't take away from us.”