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Caitlin Clark effect on WNBA attendance, viewership, and more

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) looks to pass over Connecticut Sun guard Tyasha Harris (52) and guard DiJonai Carrington (21) in the second half of a WNBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Monday, May 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

(WISH) — In Caitlin Clark’s first month in the WNBA, it had its highest attended opening month in 26 years and its most-watched start to the season on each network.

The rest of the rookie class has contributed in fueling engagement with the WNBA as well. Clark was joined by Angel Reese of the Chicago Sky and Cameron Brink of the Los Angeles Sparks in the top five for jersey sales on opening week.

“What’s happening now in women’s basketball is confirmation of what we’ve always known: The demand is there, and women’s sports is a valuable investment,” WNBA Chief Growth Officer Colie Edison said in a news release. “We’re encouraged by growing engagement across all our verticals, especially as we welcome new and diverse audiences into our fandom. The WNBA continues to experience sustained growth as our league embraces this heightened momentum.”

Quick hitters –

  • WNBA games were sold out more than half the time, which is up 156% from last season.
  • Four out of the top five moments with the most engagement on Tip-off Week showcased Clark, Reese, Brink, or Kate Martin of the Las Vegas Aces, all of which are rookies.
  • WNBA App monthly active users is up 613% compared to last year and League Pass subscriptions tripled.
  • WNBA merchandise sales are up 236% compared to last year.
  • WNBA stadiums were filled to 94% capacity.
  • set the single-season record for sales in store history, with transactions up 756% compared to last year.

The Connecticut Sun are off to the best start this season, pacing the league with a 9-1 record. The New York Liberty are second in the league at 11-2.

Caitlin Clark and the Fever (3-9) return to action Monday night against the Sun at 7 p.m., looking to get consecutive wins for the first time this season.