North Carolina is home to some of the best college basketball teams in the country with big D1 ACC schools like UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, and NC State–college sports are a big deal to North Carolinians.
However, when most people think of college basketball, men’s teams come to mind. Few people acknowledge the women’s teams at these major universities that have some of the best talent from all over the country.
These universities’ women’s teams are all ranked in the top 25 with NC State ranked sixth, Duke ranked tenth, and Chapel Hill ranked twelfth. Just like the men’s teams, the women have winning records and almost always make a good run in the national championship tournament.
It is always fun to watch a winning team, isn’t it? Well, expect to spend thousands of dollars to watch a men’s game. Their tickets average well over $50 and sometimes even more than $1,000 for rivalry games such as Duke versus UNC. If you don’t have a ridiculous amount money, but you’re still are looking to enjoy a good game of basketball, just head over to any women’s game at these major universities and expect to pay as much as $10 for most games and a whopping $15 for rivalry games. Sometimes these prices are lowered to even $1 to $4 as an attempt to attract more fans.
Shocking price difference, isn’t it?
Well, in my opinion, it’s not just shocking, but it’s flat-out ridiculous. However, lowering prices to such extremes seems to be the only option for women’s basketball programs to increase their attendance. Many will say that women’s games aren’t as interesting as men’s games because they aren’t as fast-paced and there is no dunking. But, if one would just take the time to attend a game instead of judge from stereotypes, they would see that women’s games have a different kind of energy just as exciting as men’s games.
Another reason why many women’s college basketball teams don’t have the highest attendance is because not many young girls start out playing basketball; therefore, the sport’s popularity isn’t as high as, say, soccer amongst little girls.
It is safe to say almost every young girl starts out playing soccer. This assumption can be supported by looking at the attendance for North Carolina’s professional women’s soccer team, the NC Courage. The average attendance to an NC Courage women’s game is a little over 5,000 people. When you look at the demographics of the crowd, most people are families with young daughters who are aspiring soccer players.
However, parents and other individuals in society can help increase the popularity of basketball by opening their children’s eyes to a new sport, and the best way of doing that is taking advantage of the low ticket prices.
This worked for me. When I was a young girl, I started playing soccer first, but soon after I went with my dad to watch the women’s high school state championship basketball game. Immediately I looked up to the girls on the court, and I hoped to one day be in their spot. This convinced me to try basketball and eventually led to me dedicating my life since third grade to the sport that I will forever enjoy playing, watching, and supporting.
So, if you are one caught up in the hype of men’s basketball, try to open your horizons and love for basketball by showing equal support for the outstanding women’s teams we have in the area–you won’t regret not having to break your bank account for some quality entertainment.