There’s been a lot of talk about the NFL cashing in on Taylor Swift’s financial impact since she started regularly attending her boyfriend Travis Kelce’s games, but the same can be said for Iowa point guard Caitlin Clark's influence in the world of NCAA women’s basketball. Maybe we should call it “Clarkonomics."
The 6-foot senior leaves a golden trail of sold-out games wherever the No. 3 Hawkeyes play, home or away, and has quickly become a household name. And it’ll be no different for the team’s upcoming games against Penn State and Nebraska.
Clark leads the nation with a scoring average of 32.4 points per game this season and, with 3,462 points under her belt, she’s within 66 points of breaking the record for NCAA Division I women’s basketball career scoring.
Former Washington star Kelsey Plum is the current record holder with 3,527 career points.
Many believe Clark will mark this milestone at Nebraska on Feb. 11. The Hawkeyes-Cornhuskers game is already sold out, and resale tickets are at least $145 with fees on multiple sites for general admission — which has been the case for most Iowa games this season.
And if you want to get close to the court where history may be made, expect to fork out around $1,000 per ticket based on SeatGeek prices.
For comparison, the average ticket price to attend Sweet 16 or Elite Eight men's games during March Madness last year was about $450, according to price tracking website TicketSmarter.
Clark’s popularity can be traced to last year’s NCAA Tournament, where she had back-to-back 41-point games in the Elite Eight and Final Four. Iowa went on to face LSU in the national championship game, where they were defeated, but the matchup marked the most-viewed women’s college basketball game and ESPN platforms’ most-viewed college basketball game (men’s or women’s) on record.
And who can forget the viral photo of LSU forward Angel Reese looking at Clark and pointing at her ring finger?
Earlier this month, Iowa Assistant Athletics Director Jess Rickertsen told Scripps News the university’s ticketing office had to cut off season ticket sales before it even started because the demand was so high. He said all the attention surrounding Clark and the team has brought in a new fan base from all over the country.
“Clarkonomics” has proven that women's athletics is both marketable and profitable in a world where Division I schools have only benefited from football and men’s basketball programs.
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