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How Can Women's Professional Sports Get More Attention?16:03
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Kelli Stack (16) reaches for the rebound against Canada during overtime of the women's gold medal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Stack was one of seven players on the U.S. Women's Hockey Team roster who also played for the Boston Blades. (Matt Slocum/AP)MoreCloseclosemore
Kelli Stack (16) reaches for the rebound against Canada during overtime of the women's gold medal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Stack was one of seven players on the U.S. Women's Hockey Team roster who also played for the Boston Blades. (Matt Slocum/AP)

It may be hard to believe, but hockey season is almost upon us. And while you may be rushing out to make sure your black and gold jerseys are sparkling, there's another professional ice rink where the players are just as good, but receive significantly less attention during the regular season.

The Boston Blades. The women's hockey team routinely has some of the nation's best players. But average attendance at their home games last year was just 250 per game.

But, consider the Sochi Olympics. Back in February, nearly 5 million people watched with baited breath as the U.S. Women's hockey team narrowly lost the gold medal to Canada in overtime.

The difference is stark when you consider that a third of the players on that Olympic roster also played for the Boston Blades. So what's the difference? Sure, the Olympics get way more attention than the average sports game, but if there's enough interest in women's hockey during the Olympics, surely more than 250 people would want to go to a women's hockey game in North Andover.

And it's not just women's hockey. Many professional women's sports teams in the Boston area aren't getting a lot of attention — in stadiums and rinks, or on the front page of the sports section.

Guest

Shira Springer, investigative and enterprise reporter for the sports section of The Boston Globe. She tweets @ShiraSpringer.

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The Boston Globe: Why Do Fans Ignore Women’s Pro Sports?

  • The problems that plague teams in Boston often stymie female leagues nationwide: small operating budgets; lack of exposure; ill-fitting venues; competition from live local men’s games and an ever-increasing variety of nationally televised sports contests; fans stuck on the fact that female athletes aren’t as fast, strong, or physical as their male counterparts.

This segment aired on September 25, 2014.

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