With rookie sensation Caitlin Clark leading charge, WNBA opens to highest attendance in 26 years

The WNBA registered its highest attendance in 26 years for an opening month to the season as well as its most-watched start.

The league announced Monday that 400,000 fans attended games since the season tipped off on May 14 through the end of the month, its highest since nearly the league’s inception; the WNBA began play in 1997. Further, more than half of all WNBA games were sellouts, which is a 156 percent increase year over year, according to the release.

Additionally, games are averaging 1.32 million viewers across all network partners, nearly tripling last season’s average (462,000 viewers).

“What’s happening now in women’s basketball is confirmation of what we’ve always known: The demand is there, and women’s sports is a valuable investment,” said chief growth officer Colie Edison. “We’re encouraged by growing engagement across all our verticals, especially as we welcome new and diverse audiences into our fandom. The WNBA continues to experience sustained growth as our league embraces this heightened momentum.”

Indiana Fever rookie Caitlin Clark has been a part of two record-setting televised games. The Fever’s opening night game against the Connecticut Sun averaged 2.12 million viewers, making it the most-watched on Disney platforms ever. The Fever’s game against the Sun six days later averaged 1.56 million viewers, making it the most watched on ESPN ever.

WATCH | Clark lifts Fever to 1st win of season with deep 3-pointers:

Caitlin Clark lifts Fever to 1st win of season with deep 3-pointers

Rookie Caitlin Clark, the top pick of 2024 WNBA draft, comes up big late in the game as her Indiana Fever defeat the Los Angeles Sparks 78-73 for their first victory of the season.

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