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Monday, February 26, 2024

New Hockey League Latest to Capture Women’s Sports Boom

  • The PWHL is attracting big crowds early into its debut season.
  • Attendance spiked across many pro and collegiate women’s sports in 2023.
David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

The Professional Women’s Hockey League is just 13 games into its debut season, but the upstart competition is already further boosting the growing interest in women’s sports, which saw a banner year on multiple fronts in 2023.

More than 65,000 fans have attended PWHL games, which are averaging crowds just over 5,000 on a nightly basis. The biggest success story thus far is in Minnesota, which set an attendance record for women’s pro hockey when 13,316 fans attended the team’s home opener. Minnesota’s home games, which are played in the same arena as the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, are responsible for nearly 26,000 fans alone.

Showing Up Big

The strong turnout perhaps shouldn’t be surprising considering other recent attendance spikes for women’s sports:

  • The 2023 NWSL season attracted a record 1.37 million fans.
  • Nearly 2 million people attended the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • The WNBA’s 1.58 million total attendance number was its highest in 13 years.
  • In August, Nebraska women’s volleyball team set the all-time record for a women’s sports event with 92,003 fans packed into the Cornhuskers’ football stadium.
  • Iowa’s women’s basketball team, led by star senior Caitlin Clark, drew 55,646 fans to its football stadium for a preseason game in October.

The women’s sports attendance boom of 2023 doesn’t appear to be slowing down, and now you can add hockey to the list of sports capitalizing on the trend.

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