Spring has sprung and it is finally time for the 2015 NWSL Women’s Professional Soccer Season to begin! This season kicks off Friday April 10th and you won’t want to miss it, whether by attending matches in person or following the action online.
Last year I wrote about 5 reasons you need to attend a NWSL Match ASAP and these ALL still hold true. Whether you are a die-hard soccer fan or one who supports women’s sports, this coming third season of the league is shaping up to be the most exciting to date, yet still needs your support.
With the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament being played in Canada this summer, excitement around women’s soccer is going to be at fever pitch and will put a spotlight on the state of women’s sports. A recent article in CNN highlighted the issues that still plague the success of women’s sports. (It is worth a read: The Real March Madness: When Will Women’s Teams Get Equal Buzz?) The most critical piece for women’s professional sports to be successful is attendance in the stands.
Attendance at NWSL games in 2014 averaged around 4,000 fans per game and appears to have a solid foundation to build on. The excitement of World Cup will help bring new fans into the stands and attract media attention to the women’s professional game but more support is needed for the teams to become profitable and the league to remain viable.
So have a read below, bring yourself, family, teammates, friends out to a match or follow the league at NWSLSoccer.com or @NWSL on Twitter. You will get a great atmosphere and a fantastic display of the top female athletic talent!
Teams are currently located in: Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, Houston, Portland, Seattle, New Jersey, DC & Rochester, NY.
Originally Posted June 2, 2014
Have you attended a MLS (Major League Soccer) match recently? While the games are exciting, full of energy and a great display of top male talent, the cost to attend with skyrocketing ticket prices ($40), parking ($20), food ($15) for a family of 4 ($250??!!) can really take a bite out of your budget. Along with that, the “vibrant” atmosphere at the games may not be the best environment for younger fans. (“Mommy….what’s that F word they keep yelling at the keeper?”)
If you haven’t heard there is a new player in the professional sports market- the newly created National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). In its sophomore season, The NWSL is the third incarnation of women’s professional soccer in the US. With teams in 9 major markets (Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, Houston, Portland, Seattle, New Jersey, DC & Rochester) the NWSL is already attracting top female talent from around the world and the stars of the Women’s US National team.
If you’re a soccer loving person or family, it’s likely that your favorite female player plays in the NWSL and may be coming to your town soon!
If that’s not reason enough to go out and catch a match in person, here are 5 more to highlight the family friendly experience and great value:
Less cost and hassle to attend than MLS
Attending an NWSL match is a fantastic value compared to a comparable MLS match. With single match tickets ranging from $13 to $35 you’ll spend half of what you would for an MLS match. Factor in reasonable parking and food prices and easy access in and out of the stadium and you’ve got an afternoon that’s kind to the budget and kid’s patience for the length of an outing!
Family Friendly Atmosphere
We live in Seattle, and what they say about the crowd noise in our stadiums during Seahawks and Sounders games is true. It is LOUD. At Sounders games most people stand the entire match making it difficult for children to see and there are plenty of insults hurled at the other team. It’s not the best atmosphere for small children.
In contrast, at our Seattle Reign NWSL matches the crowd is smaller, filled with children of all ages and much more polite. At the last match we attended we sat in front of a couple who were fully decked out in Reign colors and flags. They tapped us on the shoulder to inform us that they were quite loud and didn’t want to scare our daughter. So polite! We moved but all of their shouting was nothing but sportsmanlike cheering for the home team.
Incredible show of athleticism on the field
At each match you are going to get an amazing and inspiring show of athleticism on the field. Watching NY Flash forward Abby Wambach defying gravity to head a ball into the net or 38 year old (and mother of two!) Sky Blue FC defender Christie Rampone run down speedy 23 year old forwards, you appreciate truly how strong and talented these female athletes are.
These women are out there to play and the game they play is free flowing with minimal stoppage. There is no rolling around on the field faking an injury in this league! It’s all about athleticism and sportsmanship. And inspiration for this mom to get her butt back into the gym? Absolutely!
The league needs our support
The NWSL is the third incarnation of women’s professional soccer in the US, its 2 predecessors folding due to poor financial planning. Learning from the lessons of the past, the NWSL is starting out with a different structure and being more methodical about marketing, PR, merchandising and attracting season ticket holders.
With the grass-roots efforts employed by many of the teams in 2013, attendance at games averaged 4,271 in the regular season (Portland attracted an average of 13,320, swaying this number) which is on par with past women’s leagues. This number appears to be growing in 2014, and the best way to keep this league going and growing is to get fans into the stands and to spread the excitement about the experience at the games.
The players are excellent role models
The way the women of the NWSL compose themselves on and off the field instills strong values into the younger generation watching. You won’t see most of them in the papers for anything less than positive reasons. The players are accessible, staying after the game to sign autographs for young fans. On the field they display the importance of team, hard work, perseverance and sportsmanship…all wonderful lessons for the girls in the stands aspiring to be them one day!
To find out more about the league, teams and players visit www.NWSLSoccer.com