Venue changes, buzzy promotions: How teams are preparing for Caitlin Clark’s WNBA debut

The Caitlin Clark hype keeps getting bigger, and even her future opponents are cashing in.

The NCAA’s all-time leading scorer is a few weeks from making her WNBA debut, and opposing teams are already making adjustments to get ready for one of the biggest attractions in all of sports.

Some teams are moving games home games against Clark’s Indiana Fever team to bigger arenas or generating even more hype with promotions to get more fans in seats for must-see games against the basketball star.

The Indiana Fever held a press conference to welcome Caitlin Clark to Indianapolis on April 17.

Clark, whom the Fever selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 draft, is on the verge of signing a new eight-figure with Nike and is expected to get her own signature shoe – one of a select few WNBA players with one

Without a doubt, the Caitlin Clark effect is already changing professional women’s basketball. Here are how some WNBA teams are preparing for the league’s newest star:

Washington Mystics move game vs. Fever to Capital One Arena

The Washington Mystics on Thursday became the latest team to adjust plans for Clark, moving their game against the Indiana Fever on June 7 to Capital One Arena “due to unprecedented demand,” an announcement applauded by Washington, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser.

Moving the game will allow thousands more fans to watch Clark’s debut in the nation’s capital. The Mystics home court is the Entertainment & Sports Arena, which has a capacity of 4,200. The capacity of Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Wizards, is 20,000.

“The move to Capital One Arena will allow for additional fans in the stands as well as premium hospitality options, including Suites and the all-new all-inclusive courtside Hennessy Lofts,” the team announced.

Las Vegas Aces move game vs. Fever to T-Mobile Arena

The reigning champs vs. the rookie will be in a bigger arena too.

The two-time defending champion Las Vegas Aces also changed the venue for their July 2 game against the Fever. The matchup will be played at T-Mobile Arena, which seats 20,000 people. The Aces’ home venue, the Michelob ULTRA Arena, has a capacity of 12,000.

Sparks, Sky arena issues vs. Caitlin Clark

Two teams still playing in smaller arenas against the Fever are resulting in sky-high prices to get in.

The Los Angeles Sparks will host Indiana on May 24, but it won’t be played at their home, Arena. Because of construction at the arena, the Sparks are moving their first five games to Walter Pyramid at Long Beach State, which includes the matchup against Clark.

As a result, the game goes from a near-19,000 seat arena to around 4,000.

With such limited seats, the price to see the game on the secondary market are among the highest in the WNBA. The get-in price for the game is $373 on TickPick as of Thursday evening, and they are above $400 on other secondary markets.

The Chicago Sky pretty much have the same issue.

Their June 23 home game against Indiana will be played at their home, Wintrust Arena, which has 10,387 seats.

The Sky are unable to move the game to United Center, which has around 21,000 seats, because of a concert. The get-in price for the game on June 23 is $311 on TickPick as of Thursday evening.

Phoenix Mercury build up Diana Taurasi-Caitlin Clark rivalry

The Phoenix Mercury are preparing for their legend and the WNA’s all-time leading scorer to take Clark.

Before the WNBA Draft, the team posted an advertisement on social media for single game tickets against the Fever. The post featured a graphic Diana Taurasi “The Goat” looming over a shadow of a player wearing Clark’s No. 22 named “The Rook.”

The Goat vs. The Rook 
Sunday, June 30th - Tickets On Sale Now

The rivalry had been building after Taurasi spoke with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt about what rookies can expect when making the leap from college to the pros. Van Pelt asked the question about rookies in general, naming Clark and South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso.

“Reality is coming. There’s levels to this thing,” Taurasi said.

Minnesota Lynx to honor Maya Moore vs. Fever

Clark will be in the arena to see her idol be cemented in WNBA history.

The Minnesota Lynx scheduled Maya Moore’s number retirement ceremony for the game against the Fever on Aug. 24. Clark has been open about Moore being her childhood idol.

Contributing: Victoria Hernandez

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