W.N.B.A. Off to Soaring Start

The most optimistic expectations for the first season of the Women’s National Basketball Association projected an average audience attendance of approximately 4,500 people per game. Two months into the season, attendance at the games has averaged 8,766 per game. The televised games have at times attracted more viewers than Major League Soccer and P.G.A. Golf. Fans across the United States have been treated to and have clamored for more structured and team-oriented basketball play from the women. The players have also made themselves more accessible to fans, often signing autographs before and after games. And, souvenirs have been selling out at many games. The most popular t-shirt reads, “Invented by Man, Perfected by Woman.” Leather and rubber basketballs with the W.N.B.A. logo have also been very popular items. During a recent game in Charlotte, North Carolina between the Charlotte Sting and the New York Liberty teams, a woman, who had driven 65 miles with her daughter to attend the game, commented, “This is phenomenal. My daughter thinks I’m the best mama in the world.”


TIME Magazine - August 4, 1997

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