The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) made a statement in 2023, launching its season with an emphatic rise in home opener attendance. A captivating increase of over 21% compared to the previous year signaled a burgeoning enthusiasm for women’s basketball.
The Indiana Fever emerged as a crowd magnet for their 2023 home opener, owing to their latest acquisition, Aliyah Boston, the overall number one draft pick. The Fever’s crowd size mushroomed over 188% from last year, a clear indication that fans want to see the former Lady Gamecock in action.
Similarly, the Los Angeles Sparks successfully pulled in fans, boasting an impressive 121% growth in their attendance from 2022. This laudable increase underscores the escalating support for the WNBA and shines the spotlight on teams like the Fever and Sparks who are driving this change.
WNBA Home Opener Attendances in 2022 and 2023
Below are the attendances for each team’s 2022 and 2023 home openers:
|WNBA TEAM||2022||2023||CHANGE (%)|
|Las Vegas Aces||6212||10191||64.05%|
|New York Liberty||6829||8575||25.57%|
|*Mercury attendance for 2023 not included in total|
Superteam Era Driving Fans to WNBA?
The narrative of the WNBA’s expanding appeal doesn’t end there. Both the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty have taken leaps towards what insiders term the new ‘superteam era’ of the WNBA. This is reflected in their notable increases in season ticket memberships, showcasing fan loyalty that’s rising as fast as mercury in a thermometer.
Leading with a star-studded lineup featuring A’ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum, and Candace Parker, the Aces saw their home opener attendance skyrocket by 64%. Their impressive roster, championship win from the previous season, and the fact that top US sportsbooks make them favorites to retain their title seems to have turned the Aces into a magnet for potential WNBA fans.
On the eastern seaboard, the New York Liberty marked a 26% upswing in home opener attendance. Their own constellation of stars including new signings Breanna Stewart, Courtney Vandersloot, Jonquel Jones, who join Sabrina Ionescu, are central to the Liberty’s heightened appeal.
Although some teams, like the Chicago Sky and Seattle Storm, witnessed a minor decline in attendance, the broader trend indicates a vibrant growth of the WNBA’s fan base. This is more proof of the expanding visibility and popularity of women’s professional basketball.
The buzz and anticipation are markers of a league on the rise. This spike in home opener attendance rates points to a future where stadiums are filled to the brim with fans passionately supporting their teams. The ascent of women’s professional basketball is irresistible and the numbers are here to vouch for it.
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