Caitlin Clark, Iowa Continue to Set Records for Women’s Basketball Ticket Prices

Caitlin Clark, Iowa Continue to Set Records for Women’s Basketball Ticket Prices article feature image

Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via Getty Images. Pictured: Caitlin Clark (21) of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes walks out for warmups.

Caitlin Clark has been setting records on the court all season and her final regular season game with the Iowa Hawkeyes, in all likelihood, will end with her as the all-time scoring leader in NCAA history ahead of Pete Maravich.

She'll also set a different sort of record at the box office. According to the ticket website TickPick, Ohio State vs. Iowa is the most expensive college and professional women’s basketball game on record.

As of Sunday morning, the lowest price for standing room only tickets on the website is $354, slightly higher than the get-in price of $337 for her game against Michigan on Feb. 15 when she broke the women's all-time scoring record. The price of an actual seat in the arena today is $395.

The average purchase price for a ticket to today's game is $546, according to TickPick – roughly 1000% more expensive than the average purchase price of a WNBA game ($49). The most expensive ticket sold for Ohio State vs. Iowa so far was just over $1000.

Iowa has been far and away the most popular team in the Big Ten Conference with an average home attendance of 14,998 and the next closest team, the Indiana Hoosiers, averages 9,868 per game.

Her popularity has led to sell-outs and record prices at road arenas, too. Action Network writer Avery Yang noted the wide gap between the typical price of games at road arenas when Iowa wasn't involved compared to when Clark came to town:

The starkest difference came in a game against Northwestern in January. While Northwestern women's basketball tickets typically average around $11, this time, tickets were roughly $225 a pop. This tracks given the larger demographic area — people around Chicago traveled to watch Clark play.

The other highest mark of the season took place in a game against Maryland on Feb. 3. Maryland women's basketball tickets average roughly $13 per seat. On that day, they were about $153.

It's arguably more impressive that Clark's popularity has pushed ticket prices to Iowa games beyond the price of WNBA tickets. The 2023 WNBA season saw a noticeable resurgence in popularity with the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty on a collision course to the Finals. And yet, six of Clark's games had an average ticket price higher than the average price of a ticket to Game 3 of the 2023 WNBA Finals in Brooklyn.

Most Expensive Women’s Basketball Games by Average Purchase Price

DateMatchupAverage Price
March 3, 2024Ohio State vs. Iowa$546
Feb. 15, 2024Michigan vs. Iowa$394
Feb. 25, 2024Illinois vs. Iowa$381
Jan. 13, 2024Indiana vs. Iowa$273
Jan. 31, 2024Iowa vs. Northwestern$256
Feb. 22, 2024Alabama vs. South Carolina$190
Jan. 17, 2024Nebraska vs. Iowa$173
July 10, 20222022 WNBA All-Star Game$150
Oct. 25, 20232023 WNBA Finals Game 3: Aces vs. Liberty$148
Feb. 8, 2024Penn State vs. Iowa$142
Pricing data courtesy of TickPick.

Clark's impact on ticket sales might not stop at Iowa. Since Clark announced that she would not return to Iowa next season, ticket inquiries have increased for the Indiana Fever who have the No. 1 pick in this year's draft, according to a recent story from The Guardian. The Fever play their first game on May 14 against the Sun in Connecticut and sold roughly the same amount of tickets within 24 hours of Clark's announcement as they had prior to her declaration for the WNBA Draft.

It remains to be seen whether Clark's popularity will have the same impact on ticket sales in the WNBA over the long term, but for now it's clear that the Caitlin Clark effect is real.

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