Make your home page

Thousands of Indiana Fever fans expected at WNBA draft party

Indiana Fever hosting draft watch party

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The WNBA draft is set for Monday night in New York City, and thousands of basketball fans are expected to gather for a free watch party at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

The Indiana Fever hold the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. They are expected to pick University of Iowa standout Caitlin Clark.

As of Monday morning, more than 17,000 people claimed their draft party free tickets — that’s close to the venue’s capacity, Ryan Stevens, director of public relations for the Indiana Fever, told News 8.

“It’s going to be a fun night,” Stevens said. “Fans are excited. The whole city [is excited]. People that we’ve heard just around the city and the state, even (are excited). There’s a level [of excitement] this year coming into the 25th season of Indiana Fever basketball that’s been unparalleled up to this point.”

The celebration starts outside Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Bicentennial Unity Plaza at 5:30 p.m. Fans will be able to grab some snacks and drinks while shooting some hoops.

Fans can start trickling in when doors open to the fieldhouse open at 6:30 p.m.

During the event, they’ll hear from the Fever General Manager Lin Dunn about the team’s drafting process.

While team officials can’t officially say who they’re choosing until they get to the podium Monday evening, Fever President Allison Barber is excited to see what the team can do with the number one overall pick.

“We’ve been working all off-season to think about what pieces do we need to really augment the veterans that we have,” Barber said. “There’s been a lot of whiteboarding over the last several months of waiting to see what players will come into the draft, picking up some new free agents, which has really been important to us.”

Regardless of who they pick, Stevens says the league is ready to ride the wave of support brought on by Clark and other stars from the NCAA Tournament.

“There are so many eyeballs that are watching these young women play,” Stevens said. “Now they’re going to go to the biggest stage possible in women’s athletics. It’s going to be a great turnout this year for the fever side. It’s going to be a great turnout for the WNBA.”

The draft preshow will start playing on the scoreboards at 7 p.m., then the draft begins at 7:30 p.m. in New York.