2024 is proving to be a landmark year for women’s sports, with the WNBA, NWSL, and PWHL achieving major milestones. Attendance figures have surged, ticket prices continue to break records, and merchandise sales have reached unprecedented levels, highlighting a rapidly growing market that has captured substantial interest from fans and investors alike.

Led by the WNBA, the increasing commercial success of women’s sports is driving a reassessment of its potential for growth and profitability, representing a decisive break from outdated negative perceptions surrounding its global popularity and market appeal.

WNBA Leading The Way

The third matchup on Sunday between the Indiana Fever and Chicago Sky at Wintrust Arena in Chicago set a new record for the highest-priced tickets ever sold in WNBA history. Courtside seats were initially priced at an astonishing $5,000, while even the lowest-priced ticket, an obstructed view, cost $125 on Ticketmaster. The demand for tickets surged on the resale market, where courtside seats exploded to prices as high as $14,000 on Saturday via TickPick. The average ticket price for the game was $271, significantly higher than the previous average of $124.

Here are the top 5 most expensive games in the WNBA so far, with average ticket prices as reported by USA Today:

  1. Indiana Fever at Chicago Sky (June 23): $271
  2. Indiana Fever at Minnesota Lynx (August 24): $252
  3. Indiana Fever at Minnesota Lynx (July 14): $235
  4. Chicago Sky at Washington Mystics (June 14): $235
  5. Indiana Fever at Phoenix Mercury (June 30): $216

Valued at $140 million, the 2-time champions Las Vegas Aces achieved a significant milestone this season by selling out all their season tickets, underscoring their position as the WNBA’s most valuable franchise. With the league’s highest average attendance, consistently drawing nearly 10,000 fans per home game in 2023, the Aces continue to thrive, currently averaging 10,379 spectators at Michelob Ultra Arena. According to StubHub, the average ticket price for Aces home games this season stands at $103, contributing to the league’s growing financial strength.

The WNBA’s increase in ticket prices, combined with the addition of expansion teams such as the Golden State Valkyries and the expected Toronto franchise in 2026, points to promising growth and exciting opportunities ahead. With ongoing investment interest in the WNBA, expectations are rising for increased player salaries, enhanced facilities, and overall advancements in league operations.

NWSL Investment Surges

The NWSL is currently experiencing robust growth in investment, highlighted by significant team valuations such as Angel City’s $180 million and San Diego Wave FC’s $120 million. This surge in valuations is attracting substantial interest from deep-pocketed investors, including private equity firms, keen to capitalize on the league’s expanding financial opportunities. Higher valuations indicate a rising market recognition and appeal for women’s professional soccer in the United States, which is expected to continue to attract more sponsors, increase media coverage, and expand fan bases across the league.

The Kansas City Current achieved a significant milestone in December by selling out their season tickets for the 2024 National Women’s Soccer League regular season at CPKC Stadium, the world’s first purpose-built venue for a women’s professional soccer team. According to Vivid Seats, the Current have commanded some of the league’s highest-priced games this season, with an average ticket price of $208, significantly surpassing the $87 average ticket price set by Angel City FC, the league’s highest-valued franchise, as reported by Forbes in May.

The strong ticket demand is evident in the resale market, where front-row field seats for the upcoming September 28 match against NY/NJ Gotham FC are selling for up to $514 each. Resale prices for regular season NWSL games on VividSeats have seen a substantial 49% increase from last season, climbing from an average of $51 per seat to $76, showcasing consistent growth in attendance year after year.

PWHL Raises the Bar for Women’s Hockey

The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) wrapped up its inaugural season with resounding success, highlighted by an electrifying five-game championship series between Minnesota and Boston. The pinnacle of excitement came during the decisive Game 5 on May 29 in Boston, where ticket demand reached unprecedented levels. As anticipation soared, ticket prices surged accordingly. The event sold out rapidly, prompting fans to seek tickets on secondary markets like StubHub, where resale prices soared from $251 to over $3,100 for premium seats.

Earlier this year, the PWHL set a new global attendance record for women’s hockey with a sold-out crowd of 21,105 at the Bell Centre in Montreal and Toronto on April 20. Throughout the regular season, the league maintained an impressive average attendance of 5,448 across the 6 teams, demonstrating strong fan support and paving the way for an expanded schedule from 24 to 30 games next year. Toronto is actively seeking a larger home venue to accommodate its growing fan base beyond the current 2,500-seat arena, affirming the PWHL’s ambitious growth trajectory and bright future in women’s professional hockey.



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