Chicago Bandits, North Carolina Courage, Washington Mystics. Ever heard of them? Now let me ask again. Chicago Cubs, Charlotte Hornets, D.C. United.
I have noticed that I have never been to a women's professional sporting event, and I wanted to think about why. I could only name a few women's teams, and I had to use Google to see if there were women’s leagues for certain sports.
The average WNBA attendance at games is 7,716 people according to the New York Times. The most recent statistics from the NPF website in 2015 say that 1,128 people for National Pro Fastpitch, and 5,061 people catch the National Women’s Soccer League according to The Oregonian. Compare that to the roughly 17,000 fans at NBA games, 68,400 viewers at football games according to ESPN and about 29,906 people going to MLB games according to Baseball Reference. The more people who go to these games and are cheering for the same team, the better the experience is.
This builds onto the idea of community and superfans. With so few people attending women’s professional sports and the almost non-existent ability to follow them on TV, it is very difficult to be a dedicated superfan to a women’s professional sports team. In my opinion, the idea of having a fanbase and other people routing with you for a common cause is an attractive reason to be a superfan, but there is virtually no fanbase for women.