Women’s softball grows as exposure, crowds increase
Ponca City Now - June 2, 2015 9:31 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Division I women’s softball continues to grow.
The Women’s College World Series, which features the top eight teams at Oklahoma City’s ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, is having a banner year. Even without a local team in the field, four of the top 10 sessions in event history have come this year. Seating capacity was about 2,000 in 1999, but crowds now regularly exceed 9,000.
The number of schools sponsoring the sport at the Division I level has increased from 143 in 1982 to a record 293 this year. The NCAA Tournament had just 16 teams and drew 17,740 fans in 1982. In 2012 and 2013, the 64-team tournament drew more than 150,000 people.
The Big Ten Network and SEC Network are broadcasting more than 75 games combined this season.