“History and tradition” are usually given as reasons for the lower ticket prices assigned to women’s college basketball teams. Recently, the Christian Science Monitor took issue with this in an op-ed lamenting the current condition of stereotypes pervading women’s college basketball.
A study completed as part of the Women’s Sports Leadership Project at the Wellesley Centers for Women showed astonishing differences in ticket prices for men and women’s basketball at the college level. Analysis showed that single tickets to men’s games sell for double that for women’s games. These differences even exist in the nationally-ranked top 25 women’s teams.
As the Monitor points out, these across the board lower ticket prices are doing nothing except reinforcing the undervaluation of women’s sports, female athletes, and their abilities. We need to break away from the stereotype that women’s athletic abilities and competition are at a lower level than men’s in order for women to flourish in sports at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels.