Caitlin Clark, WNBA
The Seattle Storm game against the Indiana Fever set a franchise record for the biggest crowd in Storm history (18,343), surpassing Sue Bird's last game in 2022 Steph Chambers/Via Getty Images

SEATTLE - She has less than a month of experience in the world's best women's basketball league in the planet, but it feels like she has been around forever. In her first visit to the West coast as an Indiana Fever player, a total of 18,343 people packed Seattle's Climate Pledge Arena for a chance to see basketball phenom Caitlin Clark, setting a franchise record for the highest attendance in Storm history.

In five games in the WNBA, Clark has sold out every arena where she has set a foot on. Everyone wants to be part of it, with even former NBA All-Stars Detlef Schrempf and Isaiah Thomas being courtside. If you wanted a seat next to them to watch the Fever's number 22 from up close, you would have had to pay over $10,000.

Even the average ticket went up with Clark's visit to the Pacific North West. According to Ticketmaster, the cheapest seat in the Storm's next home game against the Washington Mystics starts at $34 compared to the $75 for the same option against the Fever.

Despite her struggles to get going up until the last quarter of the game, the Seattle crowd seemed to stand still every time Clark pulled up for a shot or navigated the court with a dribble. The roar that went around the arena every time she made a bucket made it seem, at times, as if Indiana was playing at home.

This is because the 'fever' seems to going beyond basketball. It's now a movement that is bringing a lot more eyeballs to the WNBA and seems to be here to stay.

Before the Fever's game against the Storm, Clark said that it's been hard to put into perspective everything that has happened to her in the last few weeks. She then added that her goal is to inspire the younger generations.

"We want to make women's basketball even more global than it already is and continue to impact people and young girls and young boys and show them what basketball can do for their lives," Clark said.

When asked what it meant to have 18,000 people come to the arena to see her play, she told The Latin Times that "it was pretty incredible, the crowd and the environment were great. Just looking around it was like a sea of people on all sides," she said. "It's so fun playing in those type of environments. Whether they are screaming and trying to put pressure when you're shooting free throws to try and win the game, those are the environments that we want to play across the league

This year's WNBA Draft had over 2.4 million viewers, and her debut on May 14 drew 2.12 million viewers, their highest ever for a WNBA game. But amid all the millions of people tunning in to watch the WNBA this season, the demographic with the biggest gain to date across ABC/ESPN and ESPN2 is girls from ages between 12-17, an increase of 267% compared to the previous season.

When asked what she thought about that increase, she grinned: "the more accessible you can make the league to young girls and boys or whoever that is across the entire world, that's just going to help it grow. I think this year has been the one with the most games on national television and that's just going to give more access to people to watch all these amazing players," she said.

The next stop for Clark and the Fever is the city of Los Angeles. And, predictably, the game is nearing a sellout at Arena too.

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