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Female fans lead the way in Vegas


Las Vegas was a starved sports town for decades before the NHL made its mark in southern Nevada. The city had been turned over and over again by professional sports teams supposed to move to Sin City, unfortunately it was all talk and no action. In 2017, the landscape changed and the Golden Knights took the sports world by storm. In this cyclone, the sport of hockey has become incredibly popular in the valley and not just among men.

It is estimated that VGK’s fanbase is made up of 40% women. It could be as simple as the NHL being the first major professional league to operate in Las Vegas, or hockey being so entertaining that it appeals to women as much as their male counterparts.

According to an NHL study, 37% of hockey fans are women, including a staggering 26% growth in this demographic since 2016. Most of these new fans are likely also in the coveted 18 age bracket. at 49, since nearly 40% of all NHL fans are under 50.-Boston Globe

Every fan who has attended a Golden Knights game has seen groups of women enjoying a night out at the rink. From season subscribers to casual or hardcore fans, women are showing up in droves. While that might come as a surprise in many NHL cities, that’s not the case for anyone who stepped up to the T-Mobile Arena.

We’re seeing more player interviews, family moments and those heartfelt things that happen off the ice, as well as that mix of big highlights that we’re seeing as well. It’s been really great to help get more people into the game because people who don’t know the sport will connect more to the human moments. And then the highlights will grab their attention.-Kali Mack, NHL Youth Advisory Council

We have seen dedicated VGK fan clubs run and organized by women. Social media subgroups have grown rapidly over the years. Player jerseys, denim jackets and golden shield tattoos have become commonplace for women in Las Vegas. Let’s not insult some members of the fanbase, women are not there to socialize, they want to win.

The league found that the jump in viewership was largely due to more women tuning in. TNT offered a lighter alternative to the boring analysis of other hockey networks. Studies have proven that women in the NHL are more attracted to improvisational type coverage than intermission propaganda.

Not only do we want to give our passionate fans the content they love, but how do we share it with casual and new fans and make sure they feel welcome. -Heidi Browning, NHL Senior Executive Vice President

Another promising trend for the league has been the increase in the number of young fans in recent years. Now that the NHL has a bigger footprint on social media, TikTok and Twitch, that has worked in their favor. NHL researchers found that 80% of their digital audience is made up of Gen Z and Millennials.

They have taken a less professional approach to their marketing. And I mean that in the best possible way. It’s so much more personal. I truly believe that social media is basically an elevator pitch, you have two seconds to grab someone’s attention. And I think in the NHL, that’s fully reflected in their marketing strategy recently. They’ve done so much better by improving all of their content.-Aiden Gunn, NHL Youth Advisory Council

The commissioners’ office anticipates higher revenue from the fresh injection of newer, younger audiences. The league may be behind the other three major leagues in ratings and popularity, but expanding its product to a diverse audience is a start in the right direction.