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Trend alert: Bars showing only women's sports

Posted at 7:52 AM, Aug 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-23 07:52:38-04

PORTLAND, Ore. — She shoots, she scores! In just a short span of time, Jenny Nguyen is transforming the landscape of the traditional sports bar.

Called "The Sports Bra," the Portland watering hole is a bar dedicated to only showing women's sports.

The idea came a few years ago, after Nguyen and some friends found it difficult to watch a women's basketball game at a standard sports bar.

"There's this universal feeling that women have when they go to sports bars," she explained. "It goes anywhere between uncomfortable to unsafe."

"It's just so amazing to have a place that actually prioritizes women's professional sport the way it should be," said Portland Thorns fan and Sports Bra patron Justine Kilsby.

Nguyen's bar is shining a light on many underrepresented teams. According to a University of Minnesota report, women only receive about 4% of all sports media coverage.

"I think having a space like the Sports Bra show that it can be successful is inspiring other businesses to [see] there is a market for this," she said.

As hers helps lay the groundwork for similar bars like "Rough and Tumble" opening soon in Seattle, Nguyen says the main challenge facing the industry is finding enough televised games to show.

However, that could be changing. ESPN says this year's NCAA women's title game was the most watched women's championship in nearly 20 years.