WNBA, 2024 Season, Basketball

WNBA Sees Highest Attendance Record In 26 Years Within First Month Of Season

From jersey sales to social media likes, the women of the WNBA have fans eager to watch them take the court.

The 2024 WNBA season is off to a scorching start, shattering records left and right. Fans have been flocking to arenas like never before, with over 400,000 attendees in the first month alone–-the highest in 26 years.

It’s not just packed stands; more than half the games have been sellouts, a staggering 156% increase from last year, according to the WNBA. As the league’s 28th season commenced on May 14, not only did people show their support for the league in person, but more viewers than ever tuned in to watch the women’s league on networks such as ABC, CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, ION, and NBA TV. Viewership nearly tripled, with 1.32 million average viewers, up from 462,000 last season.

Specific games saw even higher spikes, like a 2.34 million peak for the Indiana Fever vs. Connecticut Sun opener, the most-watched WNBA game ever on Disney platforms.

Chief Growth Officer Colie Edison gave insight into what may have led to the increase in support for the league. “What’s happening now in women’s basketball is confirmation of what we’ve always known: The demand is there, and women’s sports is a valuable investment.” He added, “We’re encouraged by growing engagement across all our verticals, especially as we welcome new and diverse audiences into our fandom.”

The numbers are proof of the soaring engagement of the WNBA, and viewers showing support for the women’s league have diversified significantly. Tip-Off week resulted in a 124% increase in viewers under 35 years old. Furthermore, viewership consisting of young girls showed a 139% increase. More people of color have also tuned into this year’s season. Comparing the viewership statistics to last year, there was a hefty increase among Black and Hispanic supporters.

The rookies of the league are thought to have helped attract a larger audience for the league, as previously noted by BLACK ENTERPRISE. Highlights of newcomers such as Chicago Sky rookie Angel Reese and Indiana Fever’s Caitlin Clark have led to significant engagement on social media. Additionally, the WNBA mentioned that Los Angeles Sparks’s Cameron Brink and Las Vegas Aces’ Kate Martin were among other rookie players to receive a lot of attention on social media. Social media for the league has seen a 380% increase in video views during the first week compared to last season.

Revenue from jersey sales has skyrocketed as well. Clark, Reese, and Brink are in the top 5 for jersey sales within the first week of the WNBA. Compared to last year, sales through the WNBA Store are up 756% versus the same period last year, already setting a single-season record. WNBA League pass subscriptions are up by 335% compared to the previous season.

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