Editorial: Take pride in Iowa State women’s basketball attendance


Chris Jorgensen/Iowa State Daily

A fan celebrates a made shot during the Iowa State women’s basketball game against Kansas in Hilton Coliseum.

Editorial Board

Iowa State’s women’s basketball has an attendance record that is one of the highest in the nation. In fact, in 2017, Iowa State’s average attendance of 9,106 fans at home games was third in the nation after South Carolina and Tennessee respectively, according to the NCAA.

That’s something to take pride in.

Under the leadership of head coach Bill Fennelly, the women’s basketball team has drawn a loyal fanbase that turns out game after game. It’s a culture that’s existed for a while now and deserves recognition.

Women’s sports have traditionally been on the back burner relative to men’s sports.

There’s nothing that inherently makes women’s sports less interesting than men’s sports. While men’s sports tend to be faster paced, there is nothing about fast other than our perception that makes fast better. Yet, consistently men’s sports see higher rates of attendance and national coverage. While the same is true at Iowa State, there is a lot to take pride in the way our community treats women’s basketball.

It is notable to be at a school that pushes to promote women’s sports. But let’s not stop at third in the nation for women’s basketball attendance. Let’s continue to grow the attendance and the support of women’s sports. 

How do we get women’s sports on the radar? 

  • Market women’s sports as you would men’s sports. The age old argument is men’s sports make more money than women’s sports. But men’s sports are also marketed more than women’s sports. The paradigm has to be shifted somewhere. 
  • Push for more women in sports journalism. Often women don’t go into sports journalism because there aren’t enough role models in the field, research from the City University London and the University of Huddersfield shows. With more women making editorial decisions, women’s sports are likely to get more coverage.
  • Be a fan for men’s and women’s sports. Evaluate how you think of the sports for yourself and why you may or may not have preconceived notions about the sport.
  • Celebrate the success of women’s athletics just as you would for men’s athletics. Let’s start by recognizing the fanbase the women’s basketball team has built.