Comparison of Women's and Men's Professional Sports: Attendance

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Comparison of Women's and Men's Professional Sports: Attendance

Key Takeaways

  • The average per game attendance (regular season) of the National Basketball Association was 17,184 for the 2021/2022 season.
  • In 2021, the United States men's national soccer teams average attendance per game was 25,155. The US Women National Women's Soccer League averaged 10,000 attendance per game in 2022; 5,256 in 2021; 7,386 fans across all games in 2019.
  • An average of 60,000 spectators watch the LPGA events live. Major LPGA championships averages 60,000-80,000 spectators.

Introduction

  • The report includes statistics on average attendance per game or event for the NBA, WNBA, men's and women's soccer, PGA, and LPGA. The public domain does not contain attendance data for the swimming and skating competitions for men and women in the US. The techniques we used to locate the required data are described in the section of this report titled "research strategy."

NBA vs. WNBA

  • The average live attendance per game at the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) was 2,600 in 2021. 6,535 in 2019; 6,721 in 2018, and 7,716 in 2017.
  • The average per game attendance (regular season) of the National Basketball Association was 17,184 for the 2021/2022 season. The 2020/2021 NBA games were impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the average attendance per game was 892, a decrease from 17,750 in the 2019/2020 season.

Men’s Soccer vs. Women’s Soccer

  • In 2021, the United States men's national soccer team's average attendance per game was 25,155.
  • Major League Soccer games saw 20,220 spectators on average in 2022.
  • In 2017, 10,000 spectators on average watched each U.S. Women's Soccer team matches.
  • The US Women National Women's Soccer League averaged 10,000 attendance per game in 2022; 5,256 in 2021; 7,386 fans across all games in 2019.

PGA vs. LPGA

  • An average of 60,000 spectators watch the LPGA events live. Major LPGA championships averages 60,000-80,000 spectators.
  • Only 10,000 fans were allowed per day at the PGA Championship in 2021.

Helpful Findings

Tennis

  • About 738,000 fans attended the 2021 US Open tournament. There were 631,134 spectators present for the 2021 US Open Finals.
  • The 2019 US Open set an all-time attendance record of 853,227 spectators.
  • Over 828,798 spectators watched the US Open in 2018.
  • The 2021 US Open women's final was watched by over 3.4 million viewers while the men's final, had a peak of 2.7 million viewers.
  • The average viewership for the 2019 US Open women's singles final was 3.219 million, compared to 2.751 million for the men's singles final.
  • The 2018 US Open women's singles final averaged 3.1 million viewers and the men's singles final averaged 2.06 million viewers.

Research Strategy

The number of spectators at tennis, swimming and figure skating competitions for men and women in the US is not publicly available. To find the requested sports data, we used the following strategies. First, we searched the websites of the organizations that govern the aforementioned sports for press releases, fact sheets, annual reports, and news articles containing attendance data for events that the organizations hosted (The United States Tennis Association, The United States Golf Association, USfigureskating.org, and USopen.org were some sources we searched). When the aforementioned tactics proved unsuccessful, we looked through articles written by experts and media outlets like Reuters, Forbes, Skatingacademy, US figureskating fanzone, NBCSports, USfigureskatingdigital, etc.To triangulate the average attendance per event, we also looked for information on overall attendance for swimming and figure skating for both men and women. Unfortunately, this data was also not made available to the public.

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