The National Women's Soccer League is struggling in its second season under tight budgets and low turnout, according to a New York Times story published yesterday.
The Portland Thorns FC won the league's inaugural championship last year and has averaged more than 13,000 fans at home games. But for the league to succeed, it needs to build a fan base that will pay to attend games and purchase swag in larger numbers across the nation, the Times reports:
Even when the thousands of female college athletes who
benefited from Title IX become ticket buyers, they often choose to spend their
money on menâs sporting events. And even when the girls... grow up,
many end up forsaking their childhood sports heroes for male superstars. Itâs
almost as if they realize that their own athleticism, with all the beauty and
purity seen at its highest level, isnât entertaining anymore.
The league has begun to implement a strategy: inspire young women athletes by hosting soccer clinics and appearing at events. The Thorns offered two soccer camps last summer to girls ages 5 to 13. This year the team will offer 11.