When Caitlin Clark Comes to Town

What happens when Caitlin Clark comes to town?

Everyone else does, too.

The Big Ten women’s basketball tournament, which starts Wednesday in Minneapolis, has sold out for the first time, at least in part thanks to Clark, the star point guard for Iowa and new record-holder for career scoring in Division I.

Clark began her college career playing in front of empty stands in 2020 during the pandemic. This season, she’s a national sensation, filling arenas from Iowa to Wisconsin to Maryland and drawing unprecedented attention to women’s college basketball.

One way to gauge her popularity is by looking at changes in attendance at the colleges that have hosted Iowa.

Every away game Clark played during the regular season sold out the arena, according to data from Big Ten colleges. (Her home games sold out, too.)

Her away games averaged some 13,000 fans, more than twice as high as the average for non-Iowa games at those colleges, ESPN data shows. A couple of times, her games drew twice as many fans as the next best attended game.

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