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Saturday, May 18, 2024

The WNBA Boom Goes Beyond Caitlin Clark

  • Three teams have sold out of season tickets for the first time.
  • The league’s ticket mania goes beyond Clark and the Fever, with the Lynx holding the highest average price of sold tickets on the reseller Vivid Seats.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The WNBA is booming, and it’s not just when Caitlin Clark comes to town.

Three weeks out from the start of the WNBA season, three teams have hit a key milestone that nobody had reached before this year. 

On March 7, the reigning back-to-back champion Las Vegas Aces announced they had sold out of season tickets, an apparent first in the WNBA. On Monday, the Dallas Wings and Atlanta Dream both announced they’d done the same.

Clark has undoubtedly created more buzz around women’s hoops, but the league was already heading in this direction before she declared for the draft. The WNBA notched its best Finals viewership since 2003 with October’s series between the Aces and the New York Liberty, up 36% from the year before. Last year’s regular season was the most watched in 21 years and best attended in 13 years.

Compared to last season, the average ticket price sold on the ticket marketplace Vivid Seats has jumped 135% for the Wings, 123% for the Dream, 119% for the Chicago Sky, and 97% for the Los Angeles Sparks, according to company data provided to Front Office Sports. In total, the average ticket price sold across the league on Vivid Seats is 129% higher than last year.

The team in highest demand on Vivid Seats for home games is the Minnesota Lynx. The average ticket price sold at home for the Lynx is $254, followed by the Washington Mystics at $187, the Dream at $175, the Liberty at $157, and the Wings at $152. At $124, the Fever have the league’s second-lowest average home ticket price, but that’s still a 187% hike from last season, the ticket reseller said.

The Wings play at the 6,251-seat College Park Center on the UT-Arlington campus. Season ticket holders will take up just under 40% of those offerings—a stark contrast from the Aces, who sold 8,600 season tickets in an arena that fits about 10,000 fans. The Wings reported a 220% increase in overall ticket sales revenue and said they will announce several single-game sellouts soon. The Dream play in one of the smallest stadiums in the league, the Gateway Center Arena, which fits 3,500 fans. It was the league’s most sold-out arena last season, according to the team. The Dream used to play in State Farm Arena, the home of the Hawks, but struggled to fill the space, averaging 4,270 fans per game in 2019.

The Dream could follow other teams like the Mystics and Aces in moving their games against the Fever to the city’s larger arena. Though single game Dream tickets aren’t yet for sale through the official team site, the cheapest season ticket available for resale on Stubhub for the Fever game costs $181 before fees.

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