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Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Caitlin Clark Effect Hits WNBA Ticket Prices

  • Opposing teams are preparing for her arrival in the league.
  • Get-in tickets in Chicago cost $100 more to see Clark than the reigning champions.
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Caitlin Clark still isn’t officially on a WNBA team until next Monday’s draft. But teams and resellers are already jacking up prices for games against the Indiana Fever, who hold the No. 1 pick and are widely presumed to be drafting Clark. It’s the latest instance of Clark as a business sensation, as her run through the NCAA tournament caused TV ratings to explode.

Not all teams have single-game tickets available for their matchups against the Fever. An analysis shows that of the eight games that are available first-hand, teams average a get-in price of $165.32 before fees, substantially higher than their typical offerings, with three games completely sold out. The Washington Mystics, which have the smallest arena in the league with 4,200 seats, have two games against the Fever—one $600 ticket remains for the first, and none are left for the second. The Chicago Sky, the closest team to Clark’s home state of Iowa, have the next steepest ticket at $125 before fees for both Fever matchups.

Season-ticket holders for the teams that haven’t listed individual games are reselling Fever tickets on StubHub with an average get-in price of $129.63 before fees, as of Tuesday afternoon prices. Of those games, the Minnesota Lynx have the most expensive get-in ticket on StubHub, costing fans $210 before fees in the Sept. 19 game against the Fever.

The get-in price against Indiana is $109 on the Mercury website, and $92 on StubHub, all before fees. Mercury tickets usually start at $23. That’s typical of the league-wide bump in prices for Clark. The Las Vegas Aces start their ticket sales at $15, and their first game hosting Clark is priced nearly $100 more. It’s exactly a Ben Franklin between the price to see Clark in Chicago ($125) instead of the reigning champion Aces ($25). The Sky game right before the Fever come to town, against the Dallas Wings, costs just $11 before fees.

The cheapest ticket to see Clark in New York costs $88.35 before fees, more than $20 higher than the next most expensive game against the Aces with a get-in price of $67.80. Liberty tickets are some of the most expensive in the league, typically starting at $33.85 before fees.

Some teams are finding bigger venues to accommodate Clark Crazies. The Aces picked the Fever for one of their handful of games in T-Mobile Arena, the home of the NHL’s Golden Knights (in which the Aces played two games last season). While Crypto.com Arena is under construction, the Los Angeles Sparks will start their season at the 5,000-person capacity arena at Cal State–Long Beach. All games slated for the venue are available for purchase, except for when the Fever come to town, meaning the team could be trying to find another, larger location.

Here’s the ticket data broken down by team for all 19 Fever away games (all listed before fees):

  • Atlanta Dream: Single-game tickets are not available yet, but the StubHub get-in prices are $133 and $144 for games on June 21 and Aug. 26.
  • Chicago Sky: $125 for Fever games on June 23 and Aug. 30. When the reigning champion Aces come to town, tickets are $25.
  • Connecticut Sun: $88.09 and $71.45 for Fever games on May 14 and June 10.
  • Dallas Wings: Single-game tickets are not available yet, but the StubHub get-in prices are $140 and $119 for games on July 17 and Sept. 1.
  • Las Vegas Aces: $108.07 for the May 25 game at their usual arena. Tickets for the Aces usually start at $15, including for the T-Mobile Arena game against the Fever, and the team has already sold out five games this season, including the Fever.
  • Los Angeles Sparks: The Sparks have excluded the Fever matchup from ticket availability for the games scheduled for Cal State–Long Beach.
  • Minnesota Lynx: Single-game tickets are not available yet, but the StubHub get-in prices are $189 and $210 for games on July 14 and Aug. 24.
  • New York Liberty: $88.35 and $115.67 for Fever games on May 18 and June 2. Tickets for Liberty games usually start at $33.85.
  • Phoenix Mercury: $109 for the June 30 game against the Fever. Mercury tickets usually start at $23.
  • Seattle Storm: Single-game tickets are not available yet, but tickets for both the May 22 and June 27 games against the Fever have a get-in price of $51 on StubHub. 
  • Washington Mystics: Only one standard ticket is available as of Wednesday afternoon for the two Fever games in Washington, and it costs $600. The cheapest Mystics games have tickets listed at $20.

This story has been updated after the Las Vegas Aces released single-game tickets on April 10.

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