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Attention bargain shoppers: Women’s basketball tickets are cheap (and that’s a problem)

April 3, 2009 – 2:57 PM

Click here to read Laura Pappano’s op-ed in today’s Christian Science Monitor on why the price gap between men’s and women’s division 1 college basketball tickets is a travesty — and perpetuates economic disparities on and off the court.

  1. 17 Responses to “Attention bargain shoppers: Women’s basketball tickets are cheap (and that’s a problem)”

  2. Shades of the State of California, decades ago, which forbade women’s public toilets to anymore have adjoining “rest rooms,” since men’s didn’t.

    Don’t raise the price of tickets to women’s athletic events. Don’t make it too expensive for ordinary people to cheer on their women’s teams.

    By Carol Anne on Apr 4, 2009

  3. Laura, there is also a big gap between the quality of play for mens and womens college b-ball.
    Men’s high school teams could beat most..if not all women college teams…and thus the price disparity.
    Yes…womens b-ball has come a long way but not long enough.
    I know Wellesly is a girl’s school and your indoctrinated with all kinds of “interesting” ideas.. but get real…guys can kick ass when it comes to sports and women…not so much.

    The truth hurts…

    Gordon Hill

    By Gordon HIll on Apr 4, 2009

  4. This is one of the dumbest sports articles I’ve read in quite some time. The author apparently wants colleges to charge fans more for attending women’s basketball games in order to make some kind of a point about gender equity. Obviously, colleges would be thrilled to introduce the same, ridiculous, no-one-can-afford-it mentality to big-time women’s sports that they have brought to big-time men’s sports. However, they know full well that if they pump up the prices they will attract fewer fans. So they grudgingly offer family friendly prices. I suppose it’s sexist to point out the obvious: men’s basketball is more popular than women’s basketball. That may not be right, fair, just … or easy to admit. but it’s a reality. Hence, colleges charge more for men’s games than women’s games. Maybe the author should file a gender discrimination lawsuit to force colleges to charge more for women’s sports. dumb. dumb. dumb.

    By jon on Apr 4, 2009

  5. Wow..

    This was the worst article I have ever seen. It’s like saying why pay for a Ferrari when you can xan get a Geo Metro cheaper. Womens basketball is boring, amateurish, and lacks the action, dunks, and power of mens basketball. I don’t think I ould go even if the tickets were free. The sad truth is that a lot of womens sports are really bad compared to the male versions.

    By Shaun Empire on Apr 4, 2009

  6. I wonder if the author ever took an econ course or could draw a demand curve–probably not. Hint – a demand curve has a negative slope. The point, which Jon also made, is that raising the prices of tickets to women’s games would lower the number of tickets purchased.

    I think it is great that women’s games are getting decent attendance. When you have a large stadium, you want a home court advantage so you price to maximize your fan base. When I first started at Purdue in 1975, students got free season tickets to men’s football. As demand rose over the years, the student tickets were no longer free. The free tickets helped generate excitement for going to the games and helped to eventually generate enough demand to charge for the tickets.

    Women’s sports are still on the upward climb. Raising the prices for women’s basketball to the level of the men’s basketball tickets would likely result in mostly empty arenas. Let’s generate some excitement for a few more years and raise the prices when the women start selling out the arenas. Raising them now would be putting the cart before the horse.

    By Karl on Apr 4, 2009

  7. Solution: Play a men’s team and beat them. Keep playing… keep beating men’s teams’s consistently. I’ll pay to see you play — I’ll even start taking estrogen so I can be like my new found heroes!


    By jd Stevenson on Apr 4, 2009

  8. I’ve decided that this was a belated April Fool’s Day column.

    By Carol Anne on Apr 5, 2009

  9. You sound like one of Obama’s economic advisors. We have a product that won’t sell so lets raise the price. What an idiot ! The travesty is that by law there has to be an equal number of womens and mens sports on college campuses. There are only a handful of womens sports teams that even come close to making a profit. So go ahead and raise the ticket prices for the Womens Final Four and attendance will drop even more and guess what happens then? They will have to raise the prices to the men’s tourney to pay for it.

    By kevin jarrett on Apr 5, 2009

  10. What kind of insanity are the women at Wellesley learning?

    By Gordon Hill on Apr 5, 2009

  11. Gee, I guess free markets count for nothing. This author is so blinded by her own agenda that she can’t figure out that people are only willing to pay for what they value. The perfect solution? Have the schools up the prices for the women’s games so that they exceed the prices for men’s games. Then the author can whine again about discrimination when nobody goes to those games. Whining is the object here, isn’t it?

    By Rick on Apr 5, 2009

  12. Yeah, I like men’s basketball (UCONN Fan) better than women’s, so will pay more to see more to see Thabeet swat a ball into the stands or Adrian slam a dunk home. But, having daughters,(and now living in TN) I am stoked that I can take them to see riveting women’s basketball. (And last time out dropped north of $120 for 4 tickets, parking and drinks).

    I agree the idea of trying to equalize ticket prices is not a good one. But I don’t understand how this is an opportunity to slam women’s basketball.

    It doesn’t bother me to pay discounted rate to see women’s basketball, but I’d be more than willing to pay the full rate to see Gordon, Shaun, jd, Kevin, and Rick embarrass themselves against UCONN women’s starting five.

    By Keith on Apr 5, 2009

  13. Agree with most of the people posting here, if you raise the prices no one would go the games, barely anyone even watches it on TV. Don’t want to be mean, but the writer deserves some truth. Like Karl up there said, it’s all about demand, maybe they should charge me $500.00 to go see a pinpong game…or $800.00 to go see the elderly play nursing home games. This article is just letting us know ticket prices, other than that, there’s really not much substance to it.

    By Nelson on Apr 6, 2009

  14. Have any of you actually watched a game, on TV or in person? These women are incredible athletes and as much fun to watch as the men. We may not be ready to raise the price of tickets yet, but with articles like this, awareness will be raised. Kudos to the author for standing up for an important issue and bringing it to our attention. Let’s have some more like it!

    By ESB on Apr 6, 2009

  15. You, ma’am, are an idiot!

    Perhaps you have heard of the recent news flash called SUPLLY AND DEMAND???

    UCONN and TN being the exceptions, there is very little demand for woman’s bball tix. Check out the stands at the WNBA. Sad but true.

    PhD – Pile Higher and Deeper!

    By sumosama on Apr 6, 2009

  16. I couldn’t agree more with the general mood of the comments for this article. With all due respect for the hard working people who make up womens basketball, but it’s time for the author to smell the proverbial roses. It’s pretty easy to understand why prices are what they are.
    Show me I should pay more. Give me basketball at the level of the men’s. A duck is still a duck…

    By Phil H on Apr 6, 2009

  17. Going to a college basketball game, whether men’s or women’s, isn’t about seeing the best of the best, that’s what the pro’s are for, but rather to see athletes competing at a very high level, far better than the average person or athlete could do. It’s about competition for the athletes, entertainment for the crowd and hopefully inspiration for the kids. To say that one (men’s or women’s) is necessarily better than the other, or that ticket prices should be different, is the historic custom but has no basis in necessity other than what “society” has wrongfully taught us. The prices should be equal and the enjoyment should be the same, despite the fact that the games are somewhat different in the speed, the dunking, etc. If people could just get past the idea that because it’s men it must be better, they might actually give women’s sports another look, enjoy it just as much, and be willing to pay the same amount to see them. If the thinking changed, the attendance and the prices would follow.

    By Elaine on Apr 6, 2009

  18. Actually, when UNC women’s soccer games were free admission, they drew an average of 1500 fans. When the department started charging for tickets, attendance increased to around 2500 fans per game.

    By Jason on Apr 9, 2009

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