May 7, 2024 - News

Women's sports bar coming this fall

A photo of UT's Aaliyah Moore shooting a basketball as other players try to block her.

Aaliyah Moore of the Texas Longhorns attempts a layup in the 2024 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. Photo: Brendall O'Banon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Austinites will soon have a dedicated bar to watch women's sports.

Driving the news: ATX Women's Sports Pub co-founders Debra Hallum and Marlene du Plessis announced the effort last month and launched a crowdfunding effort for some of the startup costs.

Why it matters: Women's sports are having a moment, but there are few places to stream the games.

  • Former Iowa guard Caitlin Clark garnered national attention for the NCAA, bringing record-breaking viewership and ticket sale numbers for women's basketball.
  • WNBA ticket sales have soared — driven in part by Clark, who's now with the Indiana Fever — although the league had already seen a surge in popularity in recent years.
  • Meanwhile, National Women's Soccer League announced a landmark four-year TV rights deal, and U.S. women's soccer team investments are surging.

State of play: ATX Women's Sports Pub owners say the bar will be the first of its kind in Austin, but across the country, bars showcasing only women's sports are gaining popularity.

The vibe: ATX Women's Sports Pub, which has not yet selected a location, is expected to offer food and alcohol, host events for fans and stream all women's sporting events on their televisions.

  • There will be plenty of local action to screen at the pub on the heels of the Longhorn women's basketball team's big season, competing as the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament this year after winning the Big 12 tournament.
  • The co-founders also intend to donate 10% of their profits to local nonprofits dedicated to equitable access to sports for girls, according to ATX Sports Pub's donation page.

What they're saying: "Our goal is to establish a gathering place worthy of female athletes, where fans of women's sports feel welcomed and at home," Hallum said in a statement. "We aim to uplift the status of women's sports and women as a whole. We look forward to uniting diverse members of our community through sports."

What's next: Crowdfunding support will go toward hiring staff, purchasing furniture and obtaining licenses, according to the group.

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