The financial forecast predicts continued growth for women's sports in 2024
The GIST: The financial forecast for 2024 is looking a little stormy as experts foresee a moderate economic slowdown on the horizon. For sports, that means leagues will have to work hard to bolster demand and reduce ticket prices to maintain 2023’s high attendance numbers. Women’s sports, however, seem uniquely ready to weather the storm.
The why: The U.S. economy seems strong based on current GDP and unemployment levels, yet meaningful indicators like credit card balances, debt delinquencies, and inflation are all on the rise. These signal a tough time ahead for American consumers, especially for the average sports fan.
- There’s even a special term for increased prices in the sports and entertainment space: “funflation.” The numbers are not so fun — the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that sports tickets rose 25.1% YoY this October. Ouch.
The outlier: On the other hand, women’s sports fans should expect more sold-out stadiums next year. As one of the industry’s fastest-growing sectors, women’s leagues are garnering bigger crowds and higher revenue. StubHub recently revealed that the NWSL and WNBA both saw double the ticket sales YoY.
- And certain clubs saw an even higher jump, like the NY Liberty’s 462% sales boost YoY and the Portland Thorns’ 326% spike in tickets YoY. Plus, the PWHL’s Toronto outfit has already sold out season tickets for its 2024 inaugural season. All highs, no lows.
The takeaway: Even if the sports landscape sees tumbleweeds, Deloitte expects women’s leagues to break the billion-dollar revenue threshold in 2024. That’s partly because women’s sports fans will be there no matter what — they’re loyal to their teams and the brands that support them. Plus, women’s matches are often better priced and more affordable, further encouraging fans to show up.