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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Big Ten Women’s Tournament Sells Out for First Time

  • 'Clarkonomics' makes a postseason appearance with the first sellout of the Big Ten women's tournament.
  • Caitlin Clark’s Hawkeyes decisively won the tournament last year.
Caitlin Clark
Syndication: The Des Moines Register

The Caitlin Clark effect is hitting the postseason: The Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament has sold out about two weeks before the event.

All seven sessions of the tournament—held at the Target Center in Minneapolis, with a capacity of 20,000—sold out for the first time. More than 109,000 fans are expected to attend, the conference confirmed to Front Office Sports.

Iowa currently sits in third place in the Big Ten behind Ohio State. On Thursday, No. 4 Iowa fell at No. 14 Indiana. The Hawkeyes hopes of winning the regular season title took a hit, falling to 12-3 in the league behind the No. 2 Buckeyes (14-1) and Indiana (13-3), with three regular-season games left, including Clark’s Senior Day on March 3 against the Buckeyes, who beat the Hawkeyes in overtime in January.

Failing to grab the top spot in the conference didn’t stop Iowa last year: In the 2023 Big Ten tournament, Clark’s Hawkeyes (second in the conference) topped the Buckeyes (fourth in the conference) to take home the title. Clark put on a show, recording a 30-point triple double in the 105–72 victory.

Looking ahead to the NCAA tournament

The quick sellout for the Big Ten women’s tournament raises questions about the NCAA tourney, when last year, tickets for the women’s Final Four were hundreds of dollars higher than the men’s on secondary markets. Some of that can be attributed to arena size—this season’s women’s host, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland has a capacity under 20,000, while the men will play in State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., which can fit up to 73,000 fans. Other factors, like scheduling the tournaments on the same weekend and sponsorship rules, hold back the women’s tournament. The Big Ten sellout further proves that demand is there for women’s basketball, if only the NCAA would listen.

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