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WNBA ticket prices soar ahead of draft, Caitlin Clark arrival

NS_headshot_clearbackgroundby:Nick Schultz04/09/24

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Lily Smith/The Register / USA TODAY NETWORK

It’s been 48 hours since Caitlin Clark’s college career came to an end. The Iowa star played her final game in Sunday’s national championship loss to South Carolina, meaning she can turn her attention to her next chapter in the WNBA.

Less than a week before the presumably goes No. 1 overall to the Indiana Fever in the draft, it seems like the league is also getting ready for her arrival.

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Ticket prices are soaring for the 2024 season, according to Front Office Sports, with an average price of $103.83 for eight games available first-hand. Of the teams with single-game tickets available, the Chicago Sky’s home game against the Fever sits as the most expensive at $125. That’s the game closest to Clark’s hometown of West Des Moines, Iowa.

The June 30 game between Indiana and the Phoenix Mercury is also sure to draw plenty of attention. That’s when Clark will go head-to-head against Diana Taurasi, and that ticket currently costs $109 – a steep increase from the normal starting price of $23 for Mercury games.

Clark captivated the nation during her career at Iowa, particularly the last two seasons. This year, though, she rewrote the record book. Not only did she pass Kelsey Plum to set the NCAA women’s basketball all-time scoring record, but she moved ahead of “Pistol” Pete Maravich to set the Division I record. She also became the Division I leader in made three-point field goals during Iowa’s run to the national title game.

Clark’s exciting style not only sold out game after game, but TV viewership skyrocketed. Iowa helped fuel the surge thanks in large part to the “Caitlin Clark Effect,” including three straight NCAA Tournament rounds to record record viewership. It all culminated with Sunday’s title game in front of 18.7 million people, which came in as the most-watched sporting event outside of the Olympics and football since 2019.

Now, it appears Clark’s popularity is already paying off at the next level. Anticipation is building about what she can accomplish in the WNBA, especially playing alongside South Carolina great Aliyah Boston with the Fever as a rookie. All signs point toward that plan becoming reality, and Clark hopes the game will keep growing.

“When I think about women’s basketball going forward, obviously it’s just going to continue to grow, whether it’s at the WNBA level, whether it’s at the college level,” Clark said after that title game loss. “Everybody sees it. Everybody knows, everybody sees the viewership numbers. When you’re given an opportunity, women’s sports just kind of thrives.

“I think that’s been the coolest thing for me on this journey. We started our season playing in front of 55,000 people in Kinnick Stadium. And now, we’re ending it playing in probably 15 million people or more on TV. It just continues to get better and better and better. That’s never going to stop. When you continue to give them the platform, things like this are just going to continue to happen.”