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WNBA sees record attendance, viewership in 2016

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The 20th season of the WNBA saw an increase in viewers and merchandise from the league’s website.

2015 WNBA Finals - Game Five Hannah Foslien - Getty Images

The WNBA increased its advertising this season with numerous commercials and social media interacts to not only celebrate the historical 20th season, but support women in the professional field.

There were numerous substantial statistical improvements in the league’s attendance, viewership, digital, league pass subscriptions, social media interactions as well as merchandise sales.

Let’s take a closer look at the specific numbers.

Attendance: This season, for the first time since 2011, the W registered the highest attendance at 1,561,530 and average attendance at 7,655; from last year that is a 4.6% increase. The Chicago Sky and the Indiana Fever both lead the league in record-breaking numbers with franchise records for average attendance and single game crowd.

Chicago had an average attendance record of 7,009 and had 16,444 in attendance for the Sky’s game against Los Angeles back in July. For Indiana, it had its highest average (8,575) attendance since 2001 and posted its second highest single game attendance a couple of weeks ago when 17,704 individuals filled the arena for Tamika Catchings’ final regular season game.

On the year, the highest average attendance for the Phoenix Mercury was 10,351 which is a franchise best since 1999.

Viewership: The season opener between Minnesota and Phoenix, which was broadcasted on the ESPN network, delivered 505,000 viewers make that game the highest-rated, regular season game on that network. Also, the viewership on ESPN and ESPN2 increased 11% from 202,000 views last season to 224,000.

Digital: A record was set for the traffic the WNBA site saw online. On a monthly status, wnba.com saw 22% more visitors and 50% more video views than last year.

WNBA League Pass: Another increase also occurred in the number of subscriptions purchased this year to watch games lives online by a record 24%.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and snap chat, the league surpassed 12 million likes and followers, which includes interactions between the league, teams and player social media platforms. That number jumped 20% in comparison to last year.a record was also set in WNBA impression with 530 million impressions, plus over 50 million video views.

MERCHANDISE: Breanna Stewart has taken the WNBA by storm this season. Not only did she capture the top spot for the best-selling jersey, but she also helped the Seattle Storm be the top team in team merchandising. The WNBAStore.com increased its sales by 30% this yea which was a record.

The league has grown, and more individuals have taken notice, which is evident in the positive numbers across the board.