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Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Fever Break Last Season’s Total Home Attendance in Just Five Games

  • The team averages more fans at home and on the road than any other team.
  • Indiana has played more games than any other team, with many of them in the largest-possible venue a market can offer.
Indiana Fever fans cheer on their team, Thursday, May 16, 2024, during the Indiana Fever home opener game against the New York Liberty at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

It took five games with Caitlin Clark to top the Indiana Fever’s total home attendance from last season.

So far this year, a league-high 82,857 fans have shown up to watch Clark in Indianapolis, compared to 81,336 who went to all 20 Fever home games last summer, according to data from Across the Timeline.

The next record for Clark to break is the Fever’s all-time home attendance record of 180,270, achieved in 16 games during the team’s inaugural 2000 season. She’s on track to nearly double it.

The Fever lead the WNBA in home attendance with an average of 16,571 fans per game. But the WNBA has significant caveats in attendance figures that aren’t necessarily a negative reflection. Teams like the Atlanta Dream and Washington Mystics play in arenas that seat only around 4,000 fans, which can routinely create a playoff atmosphere but stifle attendance numbers. Teams like the New York Liberty and Minnesota Lynx play in full-size NBA arenas but don’t always open up the upper level. Smaller arenas aren’t necessarily a sign of a smaller fan base, and fluctuating capacity brings down attendance averages.

Given the demand to see Clark, the WNBA is lucky she landed on a team that plays in a full-size arena—and one that has been opening up the upper level for her supporters. The Fever’s lowest home attendance this year is 15,022 people, which is significantly higher than Indiana’s lowest home attendance last year of 2,450 fans, and still more than the biggest crowd for all but three other teams this season. The Los Angeles Sparks hold the record for the highest-attended game this year at 19,103 people, a franchise attendance record set when the Fever came to town May 24.

Speaking of away attendance numbers, Indiana averages a league-high 15,315 fans per game on the road. The team’s total away attendance of 91,891 people is more than double the next-highest total by any team.

Part of this is because of Clark’s opponents moving to bigger arenas or opening their upper levels to sell more tickets. But it’s also because the Fever have played 11 games in 20 days this season, more than any other team in the league. It’s been a gauntlet of a schedule that included two matchups against the Sun, the league’s only undefeated team, and three versus the Liberty, last year’s second-place team. The Fever have won two games over the Sparks and Chicago Sky.

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