The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Bay Area Welcomes Two New Women’s Sports Teams

Staff illustration: Amber More

When junior basketball player Karen Xin sits down on her couch and grabs the remote to watch sports, she’s met with the scene of male athletes soaking up the spotlight. Xin prefers to watch women’s basketball because she can relate more to the players. “For a lot of female athletes, watching the women’s game is a better representation of us than watching the men’s game,” Xin said.

But while the coverage of women’s sports lags behind the coverage of men’s sports, interest and viewership in women’s leagues has increased in the past years. In 2023, the WNBA had its most-watched season in 21 years; accompanying this record was the addition of a WNBA app as well as a new WNBA website. 

For the National Women’s Soccer League, CBS viewership was up 41% in 2023 and in November, they announced a new four-year media rights agreement with CBS Sports, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video and Scripps Sports.

Following the increased popularity of women’s sports on television, the number of professional women’s sports teams has increased. In 2023, there were six professional men’s sports teams and zero women’s teams in the San Francisco Bay Area. But come 2025, two new professional women’s sports teams –- one WNBA team and one NWSL team — will have started to play in the Bay Area.

The NWSL team, named the Bay FC, begins play this spring with their first home game on March 30 at San Jose’s PayPal Park. The stadium holds 18,000 fans and is home to the San Jose Earthquakes, the Bay Area’s Major League Soccer team. Bay FC will build a stadium to use after its five year agreement with PayPal Park. 

Sophomore soccer player Krista Arreola first heard about the new NWSL team coming to the Bay Area when it was announced in April 2023. Although, she only began talking about the team with her Menlo soccer teammates and assistant coach Sophie Jones (‘19) –– who plays for a NWSL team –– more recently. “Our whole team was talking about it and thought it was so cool,” Arreola said.

The WNBA team coming to the Bay Area is a Golden State Warriors expansion team, the sixth NBA franchise with a WNBA team. Like the Warriors, the new team — whose name is undecided — will play at Chase Center beginning in 2025.

While Xin watches more NCAA women’s basketball games than professional basketball games, she still watches the WNBA more than the NBA. “For a while, I was a huge NBA fan because I thought it was cool but the more I played, the more I watched the women’s game,” she said. Xin does not have certain players or teams she roots for. “I watch a variety [of teams]. You can learn from everybody.” 

Like Xin, Arreola does not root for a certain team and will probably become a Bay FC fan. “I feel like the more that we support [women’s] teams around us [they are] going to be better promoted,” Arreola said. While viewership of women’s sports is lower than men’s, Arreola believes there is significant value in watching women’s sports. “Obviously, there’s going to be a difference between men’s and women’s sports but I think women can be just as good as men,” she said. “I feel like you can’t really compare and contrast them because they’re really different.”

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About the Contributor
Devon Schaefer
Devon Schaefer, Sports Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 2

Favorite aspect of journalism: sharing fascinating stories with the Menlo community

Interests outside of school: lacrosse, soccer, cooking, reading

Class of 2025

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