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Female NFL fan base grows

Sept. 3, 2006 at 7:39 PM

NEW YORK, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- When the new NFL season kicks off this week in Pittsburgh, statistics show a record 45 million women plan to watch the debut televised game.

NFL statistics show that from 2001 to 2005, the percentage of female NFL fans increased by 8.6 percent, and in 2005 an ESPN fan poll found that 43 percent of the football league's fans were women, the New York Post reported.

"I don't leave my house on Sundays," said Mary Giovagnoni, a devout New York Giants fan. "If I have to leave, it's on the radio. I love it."

Women have also begun participating in fantasy football leagues and wearing NFL apparel, causing the NFL to design new feminine products such as thongs adorned with the themes of popular teams.

Figures show that 33 million women tune in to at least as three games and female fans account for $150 million in NFL gear sales a year.

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