Women’s basketball has encountered a harsh reality in the Eurobasket that just finished. The data on the influx of public to the fields of Slovenia and Israel, the double venue where it has been played, have been so low that FIBA has begun to study what they can do for the next ones and is in a moment of reflection.
The figures are devastating: the average number of live spectators in the stadiums has been 592 personas and in 10 of the 39 parties there were less than 100 spectators. The image of Emma Meesseman, captain of Belgium, lifting the trophy in suspicious darkness obscured the attendance figure for the final: only 1.691 personas They watched live the match in which Spain won a new silver.
The match with the largest number of people was Slovenia – Great Britain, the opening match. In a field with capacity for 12,480 people there were only 2.150.
“It’s a bit depressing”, admitted after the final game one of the European champions, the Belgian Maxuella Lisowa-Mbaka, with her gold medal around her neck. “I know that many have seen us at home, but I think our matches deserve more live attention,” she pointed out, somewhat saddened.
The critical difference with the men’s Eurobasket
100 spectators or less
In 10 of the 39 women’s Eurobasket matches
The debate on whether this had been a good choice has been on the table since the first Eurobasket games. Seeing the Stozice Arena practically empty forced Kamil Novak, FIBA’s executive director, to show his face.
“FIBA has made women’s basketball its strategic priority and we are convinced that the women’s matches should be played where the men’s are held,” he told ‘L’Équipe’.
However, this is a fixation that comes to testify that women’s basketball is a long way from men’s in terms of attention. In 2013, ten years ago, the men’s Eurobasket was held in this same stadium and the average number of spectators was more than ten times more, with 8,476.
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