Why aren't people showing up to Orlando Pride games?


This from ProSoccerUSA.com: The Orlando Pride have played in front of record-low crowds twice this season.

Though five home matches, the Pride are averaging 5,103 fans per game, a drop from the 6,186 fans per game that came out last season.

Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris isn’t sure why the fans aren’t coming out to support the Pride, but for her, it’s disheartening to walk out of the tunnel at Orlando City Stadium and see empty seats.

“We have a winning record,” she said when asked about the secret to getting fans in the stands. “We have creative players. We play a good brand of football. Something this city should be proud of. We’re doing our job, you know? As far as getting people in the stands, we need to be asking the questions [about] why the people aren’t showing up.

This from me, Brandon Kravitz --- 

Why does the Orlando Pride soccer team not get nearly the attendance numbers as their male counterparts in this city? Here are some reasons, in my humble opinion…

  • Perception of women’s sports
    • Does any pro women’s league do well in this country? Even college athletics struggles (for attendance) with many of their female sports – but they at least have a built in brand that helps with perception. These women’s leagues start up, then fold, then start up, then fold. I don’t think fans in this country fully trust the viability of the league. Which can make games feel less important. Without high stakes, we tend to be less interested in athletic competitions. 
  • Soccer overload in Orlando
    • Maybe two teams play their season concurrently is too much. Maybe Orlando City/Pride are asking too much of their fan base, or soccer fans in Orlando. Let’s not forget – this wasn’t a “soccer town” 6 years ago. People are still coming around on the sport, so they’re going to tend to lean towards the one that’s more established and has more of a following. Plus, in some ways the two teams are competing with one another, even though they’re under the same umbrella of ownership.
  • Can’t justify the cost/financial reasons
    • Going to games isn’t cheap. I went to the last Orlando City match with the idea that my wife and I weren’t going to spend much. Between parking and one beer each, we dropped almost $50 bucks, and that was a modest trip to the stadium. There are 17 home matches for Orlando City, 12 for the Orlando Pride. Even though Pride tickets are fairly priced, parking I’m told is cheaper...There’s still a financial commitment involved.
  • Still building/takes time
    • The NWSL has only been around for 5 years. There isn’t a league in this country that has been successful 5 years in. The NFL struggled, the NBA struggled, even MLB – the nation’s pastime struggled in its first few years. The NWSL, if it can generate income, and/or owners can be patient, does have a chance to be successful. People may not realize this, but NWSL is considered by many to be the best women’s pro league in the world.

What do you think? 

You can vote on the poll listed below and give me a shout on twitter -- @BrandonKravitz

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