Feb 3, 2022 - Sports

Snapshot: Women's sports rising

Illustration of the female icon made of a money pattern
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Wednesday was National Girls and Women in Sports Day, and with the 50th anniversary of Title IX coming up later this year, it was a momentous one.

State of play: Though the investment gap between men's and women's sports remains wide, the past few weeks have provided plenty of reasons for optimism.

  • The WNBA just raised $75 million in a bid to revamp its business model as players call for expansion, higher salaries and better benefits. It's the first time the league has raised money from investors.
  • The NWSL on Tuesday approved its first-ever CBA, a monumental step. The very next day, 2021 rookie of the year Trinity Rodman became the league's highest-paid player ever (four years, $1.1M).
  • Athletes Unlimited added basketball to its growing list of sports and began play last week with 44 players, including 11 from the WNBA.
  • The Women's Sports Network will launch this summer as a first-of-its-kind 24/7 channel. "The audience is just too big to be underserved," WSN advisory board member Carol Stiff tells Axios.
  • The Barcelona-Real Madrid Champions League quarterfinal on March 30 will be the most-attended women's club soccer match ever after Barça sold out Camp Nou (85,000 tickets) in three days.
  • EA Sports last week added 10 women's hockey teams to NHL 22, marking the first time players can select a women's team in the game.
  • The USGA is nearly doubling the LPGA U.S. Women's Open purse to $10 million.
  • The Premier Hockey Federation, flush with a $25 million investment from its board of governors, more than doubled its salary cap and will add two teams.
  • Perfect Game, which has organized youth baseball camps for decades, is adding a softball program.
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