In a landmark year for women's sports, 2023 witnessed a remarkable surge in ticket sales, as reported by StubHub. From basketball to volleyball and soccer, women's sports made a strong impression on both the ticketing market and viewership, signaling a shift in the sports landscape. With this rise in demand, women's sports are increasingly becoming a focal point of the sports industry.
Women's Sports: A New Pinnacle
Among the sports that saw a spike, women's college basketball took center stage. For the first time, demand for women's Final Four tickets surpassed those for men's games, clearly emphasizing the growing appeal of women's sports. The LSU Lady Tigers, claiming their first NCAA championship, contributed significantly to this unprecedented demand.
Moreover, the Nebraska Cornhuskers women's volleyball team outshone their male counterparts in football. With an astonishing 60% higher average ticket price, a game set a world record for women's sports attendance, further highlighting the escalating interest in women's sports.
Rising Popularity: Women's Soccer, Tennis, and WNBA
The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) celebrated a record-breaking season, with a 16% increase in attendance and a 21% rise in viewership. The 2023 season ticket sales doubled from the previous year, while the finals saw a tripling in sales. This was the most-watched WNBA season in 21 years, reflecting the growing popularity of women's basketball.
Simultaneously, women's soccer experienced a doubling in ticket sales, with Angel City FC leading the surge. Women's tennis wasn't far behind, registering a 30% growth in ticket sales and a 42% increase in the number of tickets sold. This widespread rise across various sports underscores the rising prominence of women's sports.
Impact of Celebrities and High-Profile Athletes
While women's sports scaled new heights, high-profile athletes and celebrities also had a significant impact on ticket demand. Lionel Messi's move to Inter Miami led to a substantial increase in Major League Soccer (MLS) ticket sales and prices, particularly for games featuring his new team.
Meanwhile, pop icon Taylor Swift's attendance at NFL games, linked to her relationship with Travis Kelce, amplified the NFL's ticket demand. Swift's influence extended beyond the music world, highlighting the power of celebrity presence in boosting sports ticket sales.
The report from StubHub paints a vivid picture of a strong year for sports ticket sales, underlining the growing popularity of women's sports and the influence of high-profile athletes and celebrities on ticket demand. As we move into 2024, the trend of rising interest in women's sports is expected to continue, potentially rewriting the narrative of the sports industry.