The Caitlin Clark is taking the NCAA Basketball world by storm and the country is seeing it.
Caitlin Clark is Iowa’s senior basketball player who barring injury will become the women’s all-time scoring leader sometime this next week. She is not only setting records on the court, she is setting attendance records in arenas.
Her shots from way out set the crowds on fire.
Clark’s popularity surged during the 2022-23 campaign, when she won national player of the year honors and helped Iowa to its first NCAA championship game. Her games this season have brought sellouts for every home and away game, long lines outside arenas that seat using general admission, spikes in revenue and extraordinary attention to every arena the Hawkeyes visit. Everyone wants a glimpse of the 22-year-old as she closes in on the women’s NCAA scoring record and as No. 2 Iowa prepares for another deep NCAA tournament run.
According to Vivid Seats, Iowa fans are traveling 34% farther to see Clark and her teammates this season than last. The average ticket price for Iowa’s road games (past and upcoming) is $107.75, and fans have traveled an average of 137.7 miles to see the Hawkeyes away from Iowa City. Iowa has drawn an average of 10,953 fans to its road contests, which continue on Sunday at Nebraska. No other Big Ten team has averaged more than 8,288 fans at its away games, and the average attendance when conference teams have appeared on the road is 5,227.
Several Big Ten schools said they have increased arena staff for Iowa games or matched what they use for sellouts on the men’s basketball side. Purdue put up stanchions to keep some distance between Iowa’s bus and the large crowd that had gathered to see Clark as she entered and exited Mackey Arena.
“It’s a moment in time,” Iowa athletic director Beth Goetz told ESPN, while standing near the tunnel by the Iowa locker room before the Jan. 31 tilt at Northwestern and as fans craned their necks to see Clark. “For anybody who’s got a star, at home, you would expect for that to develop and grow. But to now see it out on the road, to be selling out arenas, to see people lined up hours before, it’s amazing.”