WNBA ticket prices reveal a lot about the league we love. Despite all of the “nobody” cares about the WNBA talk, there are plenty of people who attend games. And who are willing to pay up to do so.
Already in 2017, the WNBA registered a total attendance of 1,574,078 fans. That was also a year in which the Los Angeles Sparks, the Connecticut Sun, and the Minnesota Lynx in particular saw double-digit attendance growth.
So today, we’re going to discuss WNBA season ticket prices, including how costs vary by team. And discuss the pricing opportunities each team might have.
In addition to the WNBA average ticket price, we’ll also look at ticket prices for the All-Star game. You might be surprised how the costs stack up next to those of NBA tickets! Finally, we’ll show you the best place to get your tickets for your favorite team.
WNBA ticket prices are impacted by quite a few variables. The main ones tend to be:
For example, reseller SeatGeek reports the average LA Sparks ticket price as $24 at the low end. While at the high end the Washington Mystics average price is $73. Quite a range!
WNBA tickets cost from $8 to $401 for season ticket holders per game. Teams offer anywhere from 3 to 21 different price points at which fans can purchase – with the average being 10 price points. Let’s take a look at the average ticket price to dig in further.
In 2018, David Berri wrote for Forbes that the average minimum ticket price for a WNBA game is $17.42. Based on team websites’ listed starting point prices, the average minimum in 2019 was also $17. Meanwhile the average overall WNBA ticket price is $47 on SeatGeek. While the average highest listed price is $233.
Excitingly for the league, the average cost of WNBA tickets has an opportunity to rise even further today. Before the moving of the latest season to IMG in 2020, High Post Hoops reported on data from Vivid Seats that showed robust increases in terms of ticket demand for several teams.
The Phoenix Mercury, which had added Skylar Diggins-Smith to the team before the season had an 837% increase in season ticket interest. While interest for Liberty season tickets was up 234% as the hype around Sabrina Ionescu was still reaching its apex.
The Chicago Sky, coming off a season where they were one “Hamby Heave” shy of a berth in the conference semifinals, had a 174% increase. And the Connecticut Sun, fresh off of being one game of winning its first-ever WNBA championship, had a 152% increase. Meanwhile, Vivid Seats data showed two other teams whose interest went up more than 100%: the Dallas Wings and Indiana Fever.
Let’s take a look at how each of those teams’ tickets are priced today.
The average ticket price as recorded by SeatGeek for each team ranges from $24 to $73.
So below we’ll dig into the average ticket price for season ticket holders. And also check out the lowest and highest listed prices for season ticket holders, as well as the unique perks that accompany them. Plus, for each team, we’ll consider how the number of price points they have could be impacting their attendance. Here’s the scoop!
New York Liberty tickets have an average price of $40 according to SeatGeek, putting them very close to the middle of the pack. And it appears in the throes of a Sabrina Ionescu-led on-court rebuild, they’re trying to take prices higher.
Over the last five years, the New York Liberty’s starting ticket price point has varied a bit. But is most recently on an upwards trend, which is great to see:
Today, the Liberty’s tickets range from courtside premiums at $375 per game, to corner upper seats that can be purchased at $25 per game for season ticket holders. If you add up all the price points (10) they’re offering tickets at, and assume there’s an equal number of seats for each (which there isn’t), the average ticket price would be $127.
They also entice fans with some creative perks different from other teams including:
In 2017, the last season the Liberty called MSG home, its average attendance was just under 10,000 per game. And it had been holding fairly steady there since 2015. In fact, over those three years they were in the top 4 teams in the league in terms of attendance each year.
However, during the past two seasons their attendance figures were just a little more than 2,000 fans per game. This appears to be due to the constraints of their stadium though, as games were held in Westchester which only seated a bit more than that.
With a ticket price squarely in the middle of the pack, a roster with a new star name attached, and a previous history of attendance on the higher side for the league, The Liberty tickets appear to be priced well.
The Sparks have not only been consistent winners on the court, but also they have been consistent winners at the ticket booth in terms of attendance. Typically, those two go hand in hand. Though according to SeatGeek their average ticket price is still just $24, the lowest of any WNBA team.
The LA Sparks’ tickets range from courtside sideline seats at $225 per game, to upper baseline seats that can be purchased at $15 for a single game for season ticket holders. If you add up all the price points (5) they’re offering tickets at, and assume there’s an equal number of seats for each (which there isn’t), the average ticket price would be $85.83. Which relative to the high cost of living in Los Angeles, isn’t too high.
Their most unique creative perks for ticket holders include:
The Sparks average attendance has led the league three years in a row: 2017, 2018, and 2019. Basically, since 2015 Sparks attendance has been on the up and up. The Sparks have consistently averaged over 10,000 fans per game in the most recent seasons.
This is probably because Los Angeles has consistently been in the championship picture, and it’s a city with established basketball excellence (see: Kobe Bryant). Plus, the Sparks boast celebrities who are well-known even outside of the realm of basketball such as Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike.
Their five pricing packages probably help reduce decision fatigue, and their large range of prices helps ensure there’s something for everyone. With packed attendance, their pricing strategy and star power appears to be working.
Slowly but surely the Chicago Sky are a WNBA team that is rising to the top of the league’s food chain. Chicago almost made the WNBA semifinals in 2019, returned to the playoffs last season in the bubble, and should be contenders again in 2021. Their average ticket price is $43.
The Sky’s tickets range from bench seats at $250 per game, to upper baseline seats that can be purchased at $11 per game for season ticket holders. If you add up all the price points (10) they’re offering tickets at, and assume there’s an equal number of seats for each (which there isn’t), the average ticket price would be $90.30.
Some of their most creative ticket package features include:
Starting with the 2018 season, the Sky moved from Allstate Arena in suburban Rosemont to Wintrust Arena in the South Loop near McCormick Place. The Sky averaged over 6,000 fans per game in 2019. Their attendance has actually been one of the most steady of any WNBA team, holding around the 6000s since 2015. Though in 2016 they saw a nice pop, hitting the over 7,000 mark.
With ticket prices starting at one of the lower price points in the league, the Sky have found a way to steady their attendance. This could be because the Sky continue to improve each year, as they work towards their first Championship win. Though their average ticket price is on the higher side for WNBA teams, which could be keeping some fans away.
The Dallas Wings are one of a few WNBA teams that play outside their designated city. College Park Center is located on the University of Texas at Arlington, and seats 7,000 fans. Their average ticket price is $31.
The Wings’ tickets range from Dream A at $401 per game, to Wings Zone seats that can be purchased at $8 for a single game by season ticket holders. If you add up all the price points (18) they’re offering tickets at, and assume there’s an equal number of seats for each (which there isn’t), the average ticket price would be $94.10.
Some of their creative ticket offerings include:
Over the last five years, Dallas Wings average game attendance has been as low as 3,872 in 2017 to as high as 5,297 in 2016. It’s oscillated up and down over the years. But encouragingly, in 2019, the Wings averaged just under 5,000 spectators per game – an uptick from the previous year. In what was the first year of rising star Arike Ogunbowale’s career in north Texas.
The sheer number of price points Dallas offers is probably a bit overwhelming to prospective attendees. Though their average SeatGeek price is one of the lowest in the league. By simplifying their price structure they have an opportunity to increase their low attendance, as they rebuild their brand. With the amazing young talent they have in tow (Arike, Satou Sabally, Tyasha Harris, we could go on!), it’s possible at the right price point attendance could sky rocket.
After historically sharing the same arena with its Monumental Sports and Entertainment brethren for years, the Washington Mystics moved in 2019. They headed to the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. to the DC Entertainment and Sports Arena.
The Mystics tickets range from M-Class at $195 per game, to lower level baseline high seats that can be purchased at $12 for a single game. If you add up all the price points (15) they’re offering tickets at, and assume there’s an equal number of seats for each (which there isn’t), the average ticket price would be $49.73. That’s probably just a few more price points than they need, and is likely causing a little consumer confusion.
They also have some creative ticket ideas:
In 2015, the Mystics averaged 7,713 fans per game. A decrease followed in 2016, offset by a rise again in 2017 to 7,771 fans. Though attendance has been on the decline since then. As a result, the Mystics averaged just over 4,500 fans per game during their championship-winning season in 2019.
Mystics’ average ticket prices according to levels listed on their site put their average price second lowest in the league. Hopefully their Championship season in 2019 will bring back their attendance once stadiums open up again. Their starting price of $12 seems reasonable compared to the rest of the league. Their attendance is probably a branding problem in a busy sports market.
In 2019, the Seattle Storm were in an unusual position on the court and with their court. They played that season without their two best players: Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart. In addition to being in a unique scenario with their arena. But it doesn’t seem to have hurt their ticket price too much: Storm tickets are available for an average of $42, according to SeatGeek.
The old Key Arena was being renovated and becoming Climate Pledge Arena. Which displaced the Storm from its incumbent stadium for the ensuing several seasons. As a result, Seattle split its home 2019 slate between Alaska Airlines Arena on the campus at the University of Washington, and Angel of the Winds Arena in suburban Everett.
Storm tickets range from Bright green behind the baskets at $162 per game, to bleachers that can be purchased at $22 for a single game. If you add up all the price points (5) they’re offering tickets at, and assume there’s an equal number of seats for each (which there isn’t), the average ticket price would be $80.80.
Some of the most unique perks they offer to ticket members include:
Seattle’s attendance has generally been on the rise over the last five years. Though, it has been impacted negatively by their venue shuffling. Back in 2015, the Storm’s average attendance per game was 6,515 fans. While the last time they played a full season at the former Key/current Greenhouse in 2018, The Storm drew an approximate average of over 8,000 fans.
The Storms average price puts them in the middle of the pack, and their attendance has a nice trend to it. Their highest price appears to be on the lower side relative to other teams, so that might be an area to try to further maximize.
Similar to Barclays Center and Staples Center, Minneapolis’ Target Center is a venue that is bustling with basketball activity year-round. It’s the home venue of both the Minnesota Lynx and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Target Center recently completed a renovation prior to the 2018 season. Which saw the Lynx move to St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center (then University of Minnesota’s Williams Arena for the Playoffs and Finals) – and still win a championship. The wins have helped to drive Minnesota Lynx ticket prices a little higher, and today they can be found for $65.00 on average.
Minnesota Lynx ticket prices range from Light green right on the court at $257 to Light purple that can be purchased for $17 for a single game. If you add up all the price points (21) they’re offering tickets at, and assume there’s an equal number of seats for each (which there isn’t), the average ticket price would be $79.95.
The Lynx offer membership in an elite club as their most interesting package including:
Minnesota has been in the top four teams in terms of attendance for each of the past five years. They have hovered between 9-10,000 average attendance for much of its glory years, likely due to Maya Moore’s numerous championship titles. Over 9,000 fans attended Lynx games in 2019.
Minnesota’s average ticket prices are near the center of the pack. And with their amazing attendance, it seems like they’re safe to stay there. Their exclusive club perk including giving back to the community could be building fan commitment.
Though 21 different price points are probably causing some confusion among customers. Simplifying that could help lead to less decision fatigue and more purchasing.
The Phoenix Mercury is another WNBA organization that has experienced as much success at the turnstiles as it does on the court. The Phoenix Mercury are in a situation similar to what the Lynx previously were in. The team is slated to play its home contests at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum as its home venue, PHX Arena, undergoes renovations. The average Mercury ticket price is $39 – of course that varies a bit based on who the Mercury are playing.
Phoenix Mercury ticket prices range from Blue right on the court to upper level Yellows. They’re offering 7 different price points. But unfortunately have no pricing live at the moment.
The Mercery offer some cool ticket perks including:
For the past five years, The Phoenix Mercury have been in the top three teams in terms of average per game attendance. Unarguably having one of the GOATs: Diana Taurasi, on the team helps to draw fans throughout the Valley of the Sun. The Mercury was one of only two teams in 2019 (the Sparks were the other) to average 10,000 attendees per game.
Attendance being so strong bodes well for the Mercury’s pricing strategy. Their SeatGeek average puts them at the 4th lowest in the league. Their simple, few pricing tiers, and team-interaction and community-building perks appear to be working.
Since the retirement of Tamika Catchings, the Indiana Fever have been in the midst of a multi-year rebuild where they have stockpiled draft picks via the lottery. From Kelsey Mitchell to Tiffany Mitchell to Victoria Vivians to Teaira McCowan and Lauren Cox, the Fever have fielded a young team seemingly on the cusp of putting things together. Today, Indiana Fever tickets average $41.
Prior to the start of the 2019 season, Indiana advertised lower level single-game tickets for $20 in celebration of the 20th season of Fever basketball. At that time ticket prices ranged from lower-level seats at $25 to $155 for court sides.
Based on the Indiana Fever’s current interactive map, ticket prices range from Green right on the court at $61.72 to Orange uppers that can be purchased for $21 for a single game. If you add up all the currently listed price points (3) they’re offering tickets at, and assume there’s an equal number of seats for each (which there isn’t), the average ticket price would be $39.50.
The Indiana Fever offer ticket purchasers some cool features including:
The Fever average 7,158 attendees over the last five years. Ranging from a high of an average of 8,574 fans in 2016 to a low in 2019 of 5,886 fans. That’s not really the type of trajectory you like to see. It could be the result of their star franchise player Tamika Catchings retiring in 2016.
According to their listed website prices, their tickets average lower than any other team in the league. Though their starting price is a bit higher than most. Looking at bringing that down could help drive more attendance in future years as they rebuild.
The San Antonio Stars became the Las Vegas Aces prior to the 2018 season. And when the move was made, it wasn’t clear how successful the team. But after a semifinals appearance in 2019, and a Finals berth last season in the Wubble, it is safe to say the Aces have been an on-court success since going west to Nevada. Las Vegas Aces tickets can be found for an average of $65.00 on resale market SeatGeek.
Las Vegas Aces ticket prices range from VIP tables at $268 to Upper straights for $18 per game. If you add up all the currently listed price points (9) they’re offering tickets at, and assume there’s an equal number of seats for each (which there isn’t), the average ticket price would be $116.22.
Along with those tickets, at certain levels Las Vegas offers cool perks including:
Las Vegas are a relatively new team, and as a result their attendance has been on the lower end. They drew around 4,700 per game in 2019 after garnering 5,307 per contest in 2018 – its initial season at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Interestingly enough when the WNBA All-Star Game rolled into Vegas in 2019, that event drew roughly twice the average Aces attendance.
Vegas’ ticket prices both from SeatGeek and their website are on the higher end for WNBA teams. Meanwhile the market they’re in, isn’t quite as expensive to live in as say NYC or LA. Looking at bringing those down, in addition to fleshing out their member benefits to be more interaction centric and personalized, could help increase attendance.
For much of its history, the Atlanta Dream have played in several arenas throughout the ATL. The Dream have called State Farm Arena home. And they even played for a couple of seasons at McCamish Pavilion on the campus of Georgia Tech. While State Farm (formerly Philips Arena) was undergoing renovations.
After the conclusion of the 2019 season, the Dream announced it would take its talents to the southern Atlanta suburb of College Park, adjacent to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and play its home games at Gateway Center Arena. Today, Atlanta Dream ticket prices average $37.
Atlanta Dream ticket prices range from Courtside Sideline at $138 to Upper stands for $18 per game. If you add up all the currently listed price points (6) they’re offering tickets at, and assume there’s an equal number of seats for each (which there isn’t), the average ticket price would be $64.50.
Atlanta includes some cool features for their ticket purchasers including:
Unfortunately the Dream have been in the bottom four teams in terms of average per game attendance over the last five years. In fact, their average attendance has fallen off a little each year over the last five years. Starting from a high of 6,122 in 2015. The Dream averaged just over 4,000 per game in 2019.
The Dream are a bit of a puzzle, but could see an attendance uptick with their signing of star guard Chennedy Carter. The average prices are on the lower side for the league, though they could consider moving their starting price a hair lower. Perhaps more personalized and community-centric offerings with their ticket packages could beef up their highest price, which is relatively low compared to other teams.
The last few seasons have certainly told WNBA fans that the Connecticut Sun are a team on the rise. And given that they play in the state that is arguably the hub of women’s basketball, a good Sun team will draw quite the following.
The Sun have played its entire tenure in Connecticut at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville. And in 2019 came within one game short of bringing a WNBA championship to the Constitution State for the first time. The Connecticut Sun’s average ticket price is $66.
The Connecticut Sun’s ticket prices range from $227 Platinum seats to $15 Pink seats per game. If you add up all the currently listed price points (9) they’re offering tickets at, and assume there’s an equal number of seats for each (which there isn’t), the average ticket price would be $75.88.
The Sun created some unique perks to further entice season ticket holders including:
The Sun have worked their way up into the middle of the team pack over the last five years, in terms of average per game attendance. In 2019, the Sun pulled in nearly 7,000 attendees on average per game at Mohegan Sun Arena. That’s a nice uptick over the last five years, starting from 5, 556 fans on average back in 2015.
The Sun’s improved performance continues to help drive up fan engagement. Though their average price on SeatGeek is one of the highest. It could be pulling that down a bit and reducing the complexity of their 9 tiers could help take them to the next level.
So now that you know how WNBA teams are pricing compared to each other, let’s take a look at how their prices stack up against their NBA peers.
WNBA average ticket prices ($47) sound very economical compared to the average resale ticket price for an NBA game: simply a shade under $100 at $96.57. Let’s take a look market by market to see what makes up that 50% variance.
The Liberty are now hooping in the same venue the Brooklyn Nets call home: Barclays Center. Typically, Nets tickets can be found for as low as $23.00, with an average price of $132.00 according to SeatGeek. Which is $92 more than those of their WNBA counterparts. That’s a pretty big disparity.
The Sparks share Staples with the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, plus the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. According to TicketIQ Blog, the Lakers had the highest prices for tickets in the entire NBA at $472 per game for the 2019-20 season. That is to be expected given the star power the Lakers have, its brand, and its status as championship contenders.
Meanwhile, average single-game tickets for the Clippers were $65, according to SeatGeek and $59 for Kings tickets. Which means a $35 difference on the low end and a $448 difference on the high end for the local WNBA vs. NBA tickets. Again, a pretty big disparity.
When it comes to comparing WNBA average tickets vs. the NBA’s in the Chicago market, SeatGeek has Bulls tickets at the United Center listed at $73 on average. Other websites typically have listed Bulls tickets as some of the most expensive in the NBA, despite not being consistent championship contenders in recent years. Regardless, WNBA average ticket prices are going for $30 less in this market. Which isn’t as much LA and NY, but still high.
The Dallas Wings, similar to the Sky and Sparks, are WNBA franchises independent of an NBA team. Similar to Chicago, they also have an arena they don’t share with their NBA counterpart.
Instead, the Mavericks play at the American Airlines Center within the Dallas city limits. Per SeatGeek, the average ticket price for Mavericks tickets is $81 – creating a $50 gap between the women’s tickets. Which is a figure that may increase as Luka Doncic‘s impact continues to rise. This is a little more than the 50% average disparity.
SeatGeek’s info has DC’s Wizards tickets listed on average at $51. That would mean the WNBA’s ticket are $22 more expensive! Let’s go! Though that probably has more to do with SeatGeek being a resale market and the Mystics being in the Championships which can help to jack up prices.
There’s no Seattle NBA team so nothing to see here.
Timberwolves tickets range from $23 to $1,705 (courtside) per game. Typically, Timberwolves tickets can be found for as low as $12.00, with an average price of $104.00 – for $39 more than the WNBA team. Making Minnesota a closer markets.
The Phoenix Suns’ average ticket price today is $51. And it’s slated to increase further after renovations to PHX Arena. That’s a difference of $12 between the leagues today. Making Phoenix a closer market.
The Fever, prior to the pandemic and the bubble, were set to play the 2020 season at Hinkle Fieldhouse at the campus of Butler University. Though once the renovations are complete, the Fever will likely move back to the Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the home of the Pacers. As for the Pacers, their tickets average $49 per SeatGeek. Which is $8 higher than the WNBA team, again a closer market.
The Aces are one of three teams that play in a city that is without an NBA franchise. Although Vegas has been mentioned as a possible favorite for NBA expansion after some of NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s recent comments. If you’re curious about league expansion, be sure to check out some ideal WNBA expansion cities.
Comparing the Dream ticket price to 2019-20 season tickets at State Farm Arena for the Atlanta Hawks results in a $37 difference (less for the Dream). According to SeatGeek, Hawks tickets went for an average of $74. That’s similar to the 50% league gap.
The closest NBA comparison that could be made to the Connecticut Sun’s ticket prices would be those of the Boston Celtics. Since both the Celtics and Sun are claiming the New England market. The Celtics average most recent ticket price is $109. Which is $43 more than the WNBA team’s average. Putting the market difference below the league average by just a bit.
There are also differences in pricing for the leagues between season tickets and special games such as the All-Star series.
At the 2019 WNBA All-Star in Las Vegas, ticket prices started at $30 on axs.com. The official listed attendance for Vegas’ All-Star festivities was just over 9,000. Compare that to the four-figure tix that NBA All-Star tickets in Chicago went for.
Pricing is one of the biggest levers the league has to improve its revenue success. And smart ticket pricing doesn’t have to be complicated. Because there is one thing that almost universally holds true: the demand curve slopes downward. Higher prices mean less demand. Lower prices mean more demand.
Mathematically, teams should find the price that maximizes profit where profit = revenue (price x quantity) – cost (quantity x marginal cost + fixed cost) subject to the demand constraint (i.e. quantity demanded is some function of price). The are a few common types of pricing they could use:
It’s unclear which method WNBA teams are using today. But because Sue Bird has before mentioned the data disparity between men and women’s sports, in terms of performance data, it’s likely there’s an opportunity for W ticket data to be better analyzed to extract more revenue.
While the WNBA’s 2020 season was held at the IMG Academy bubble in Florida, several teams have started advertising season ticket plans for the 2021 season (see the Lynx, the Liberty, and the Dream for examples) as though it will be held in home stadiums with fans present.
So the best way to buy WNBA tickets is to check out your favorite team’s website for the best season ticket deals. Sometimes they’ll direct you to shop third-party sites like Ticketmaster, or put you in touch with an account manager for personalized service. You can also find resale tickets on SeatGeek, Vivid Seats, Facebook Groups, and more.
Here are your quick team shopping links:
Now you know all about WNBA ticket prices. And can budget accordingly to get to see your team live and up-close in the future! Up next, check out how to watch WNBA games from the comfort of home.
Written by Akiem Bailum, a writer for BeyondTheW.com, Prep Girls Hoops and co-host of the A-League Show. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @AkiemBailum.
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