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The PWHL Is About To Be The Next Sensation In Sports

With the start of the new year, we must welcome a new frontier for women’s sports, the Professional Women’s Hockey League, otherwise known as the PWHL. Currently, there are only six teams in the league. Tickets to these games range from 15 to 45 dollars, but many of the upcoming games are already sold out. The PWHL teams belong to New York, Boston, Minnesota, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. I state the cities that they ‘belong to” instead of the cities that the teams will be playing in, as these teams do not play in the cities that claim them. 

The Stadium Problem

To start, New York will be playing multiple home games in Connecticut at the Total Mortgage Arena and only play in the state of New York once in January. UBS Arena will be a shared stadium between New York's team and the Islanders. Like New York, Montreal’s team also has two different home stadiums, none of which are in Montreal. Boston’s team does have its stadium, but it is located in Lowell, Massachusetts which is 30 miles from downtown Boston.

Ottawa’s stadium is in the city it is named after, but it is not at the Canada Tire Centre at which the Ottawa Senators play. The only team that shares its sole stadium with an NHL team is Minnesota, which shares its stadium with the Wilds. I can only assume that the location differences are due to the co-occurring NHL and PWHL seasons and the lack of funds for this new league. There are known disparities however between already established men’s and women’s leagues.


On the topic of stadiums, the newest MLS team, San Diego FC, will be given stadium priority over the already-existing San Diego Wave FC which plays in the NWSL. Both teams will be playing at Snap Dragon Stadium, but we will have to wait for both schedules to be released to see how the MLS and NWSL will handle this.


Another disparity between men’s and women’s leagues is how they travel. The NBA regularly uses charter flights to fly to their matches. WNBA teams are not even guaranteed charter flights; if they are, they are most likely only one-way flights. The efficiency of how teams travel affects how the teams will perform at their games; waiting for equipment at the airport and being separated from teammates on commercial airliners causes frustration between the league and players.

A New Hope?

With these existing troubles between men’s and women’s leagues, hopefully, this novel league has already ironed out some of the bigger issues and looks to make this league equitable. In the future, I would like to see the PWHL teams play in the cities that they are named after. I would also love to see a PWHL expansion out on the West Coast to allow the other side of the United States and Canada to watch these games. I am excited to see how the inaugural season plays out and hopefully, this league will become as successful as others in the industry.


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