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Sports Authority assesses Nashville’s interest in women’s professional franchise

By on December 22, 2021 0

The Metro Nashville Sports Authority has taken the next step in their efforts to bring a professional women’s sports franchise to town.

This step includes the Sports Authority working with CAA ICON, a sports management consulting firm, to gauge local interest in the specific types of professional female sports teams that may be successful in Nashville.

“It’s about understanding the market, understanding what interests the community and positioning ourselves well for a professional women’s team,” said Sports Authority Executive Director Monica Fawknotson. “We’ve never done this before. There’s a lot of information we wanted to get. We think Nashville would be a great market for a women’s sports team.”

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The Sports Authority’s Women’s Sports Initiative Strategic Assessment, a study approved in September at a cost of $ 75,000, includes the distribution of questionnaires to survey the community as well as the conduct of focus groups and interviews. ‘business.

The surveys are being distributed by local colleges, businesses and professional franchises and the results will be presented at a Sports Authority ad hoc committee meeting on January 12.

The survey asks participants to indicate their level of interest in professional women’s sports, whether they have attended a women’s varsity sporting event in the past 10 years, which local female varsity teams they support and if they would support a team. professional female athlete in Nashville.

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The survey also assesses the level of interest in six professional women’s sports leagues – WNBA, Premier Hockey Federation (women’s professional ice hockey), National Women’s Soccer League, softball, indoor / outdoor volleyball, and indoor women’s football.

The market demographics for a professional sports franchise for women in the study include Davidson County and 13 surrounding counties.

Ashley Gilliam of Manchester shoots on the 7th hole of the round of match play in the United States Women's Amateur Golf Championship.

Part of the study included an overview of professional women’s sporting events that have taken place in the region since 2010, including:

  • The SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament (2011, 2012, 2018).
  • The 2014 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four.
  • Two international women’s football matches at Nissan Stadium in 2019.
  • 2019 American Association of Independent Gymnastics Clubs Global Competition / International Association of Gymnastics Clubs at Gaylord Opryland Resort Convention Center.
  • The 2018 American Women’s Amateur Golf Championship at the Golf Club of Tennessee.
  • 2019 National Women’s Hockey League All-Star Game at Bridgestone Arena.

He also noted that the 2022 US Figure Skating Championships will be held at Bridgestone Arena from January 3-9.

Focus groups were held last week and corporate sponsorship talks are continuing.

Bryan Slater of CAA ICON will present the findings to the Sports Council on January 12.

“Our commitment is to identify potential options for the Sports Authority based on the market research we have completed,” said Slater. “We are over half of the completion of this primary market research. “

Contact Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.