I have been living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania since I was three years old. I grew up around sports and that’s why I’m a sports writer. There are so many teams from this area: The Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Riverhounds and all the college sports teams.
However, recently, it’s dawned on me that there is a lack of female sports teams around the Pittsburgh area. There are women’s professional leagues, there is the WNBA (basketball) and the NWSL (soccer), but there are no teams to represent them in Pittsburgh.
This area is home to the Steel City FC, which is in the Women’s Premier Soccer League but they do not play on a professional surface (like the Riverhounds play at the Highmark Stadium in the strip district). They also don’t have the kind of publicity that the Riverhounds or any other Pittsburgh sports team has.
The lack of women’s sports in Pittsburgh is staggering, but it’s not just in Pittsburgh. Many other cities don’t have the number of women’s sports team that could be attainable. The only women’s sports teams that most cities have are college teams. Even then, they don’t get much coverage.
Men’s teams certainly get a lot more coverage than women’s teams. I remember in high school at Hopewell Senior High School, our women’s basketball team made the playoffs and won titles, but were always playing second fiddle to the football team. Both teams, with their coverage and support, should have been on level playing field.
So what should Pittsburgh do? Funding for sports is already scarce because of the amount of money that goes into the big name, professional teams (like the Pirates and the Steelers). However, making conditions a little more equal for the women’s teams that are already here is a start.
Who knows? With how much the National Women’s Soccer League is expanding, Pittsburgh could be the next city on the list to get a women’s professional soccer team. Maybe even a WNBA team too.