SEATTLE — As its first season at Climate Pledge Arena is now underway, it appears Seattle Storm fans are turning out in striking numbers compared to the organization's WNBA counterparts.
The Storm rank first by a wide margin in average attendance so far in the 2022 WNBA season, per data from acrossthetimeline.com. Seattle is seeing an average attendance figure of 10,582.2.
The Storm are averaging nearly 4,000 more fans per home game than the second-closest team, the Minnesota Lynx.
"[The Storm] represents so many of the values of the WNBA, about women's sports, about Seattle, that I just love," said season ticket holder Zanne Gerrard at Sunday's game, "There's just nothing more inspiring that to watch great women and their athletic talent and prowess be on the court all season long."
Seattle still was sixth in WNBA average attendance in 2021, despite playing in a much smaller building at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. Per state guidelines related to COVID-19, the team was limited to just 2,000 fans per home game when the season began and averaged 2,607.
All three of the organizations just behind the Storm in average attendance play in-home facilities with larger capacities for home games, yet Seattle fans have been flocking to Climate Pledge Arena in droves through the first five home games.
"I think more people should come and check out women's basketball because it's awesome and exciting," said Regan Smurthwaite. She attended her first Storm game Sunday.
"I'm also new to being a basketball fan," said Smurthwaite, "But I feel like the Storm are a great introduction to that."
"People are amped to be there and it's made me want to be apart of the journey and story," said Kearstin Williams, who was also attending the Storm game for the first time.
To their credit, the Storm still featured two of the WNBA's most recognizable and talented players in former MVPs Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart.
Stewart is the league's leading scorer going into Sunday's slate of games, with a 22.0 points per game average.
Bird, who is playing in her 19th season with the Storm, remains one of the sport's great ambassadors and still is averaging over 25 minutes a game.
So far, the Storm are 4-3 on the season. Friday night, the Storm took down former No. 1 overall draft pick Sabrina Ionescu and the New York Liberty in overtime. The two teams again will face off from Seattle on Sunday, with tip-off scheduled for 3 p.m.