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Women's Cup already a monetary success

For the folks who put together the Women's World Cup, financial success was achieved just halfway through the tournament.

For the folks hoping to win the Women's World Cup, the serious stuff is only getting started.As the quarterfinals begin Wednesday night in San Jose, Calif., with China playing Russia and Norway taking on Sweden, ticket sales have gone far beyond initial projections.

The U.S. team, which plays Thursday night against Germany in the opener of a doubleheader at Landover, Md. -- followed by Brazil-Nigeria -- has played to an average of more than 65,000.

The non-U.S. games have drawn an average attendance of more than 21,000, better than 11 of the 30 major league baseball teams currently average.

More than 570,000 tickets have been sold for the tournament, and chief organizer Marla Messing boldly predicts the number will soar beyond 600,000 if the Americans continue advancing.

"We have always believed in the potential of this tournament to be very successful, a breakthrough event for women's sports," Messing said Tuesday. "But we are frankly in awe of what has happened so far."

That includes some very solid television ratings.