With the opening games in the new Leo D. Mahoney arena for the 2023-24 Fairfield basketball season just days away, ticket sales appear to highlight a gender disparity. 

Although tickets for the general public for the women’s game on November 18 went on sale nearly a week prior to that of the men’s game on December 3, more tickets have already been sold for the men’s debut in the arena. The women’s season ticket sales seem to be selling at a slower rate.

From left to right: current women’s season ticket sales; current men’s season ticket sales (blue sections show available seats, the gray sections show sold seats.) 

Fairfield University women’s basketball ended the 2021-22 season with an overall record of 25-6, while the men’s team ended at 15-18 in comparison. Additionally, it was a historic season for the women’s basketball team as they won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championship and participated in March Madness for the first time in 21 years

Several Fairfield students weighed in on the conversation, giving their two cents on why men’s teams typically obtain higher turnout at the college level. 

Sophomore Jackie Pozulo expanded the conversation to the culture of national sports. “I believe in general women’s sports are looked down upon, while mens are held to a higher standard,” she said.

“I think it stems from the national level, as men’s sports are shown more often. There’s also sometimes more hype and incentives around men’s games,” she continued.

The university dance and cheer teams perform at all home basketball games and even travel to the MAAC Championships alongside the players. Being around both teams during their games, these student performers hold great insight into the gendered differences and patterns found over the course of a season. 

Sophomore Casey Nazdam, who is also a member of the university dance team, joined in the discussion. Nazdam observed that the men’s team typically received higher turnout and coverage. One of their regular season games was even featured on ESPN last year. 

“I think that one of the reasons for this could stem from the fact that many people do not take women’s sports as seriously as men’s sports,” she said when asked about why this disparity might exist. 

“Another reason could be that men tend to be more aggressive when it comes to sports, which might be entertaining for some people,” she added. 

After speaking with several first year students about which basketball team’s games they would be most likely to attend, the general interest leaned toward the men’s games. Students shared similar reasoning, assuming more people will attend those games, thus increasing their excitement. 

Overall, students are looking forward to having an on campus location to attend games and hope that the Leo D. Mahoney Convocation Center will become an environment to increase campus spirit and enthusiasm for Fairfield athletics. 

Make sure to follow the Fairfield Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams in the coming season and support the Women’s Basketball team this Friday, November 18th at 7:00 PM for the Opening Arena Game against Stonehill College!

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