Highlights

  • The WNBA’s 2024 rookie class has drastically increased attendance, ticket sales, and the use of charter flights.
  • A high-profile rivalry between rookies Clark and Reese has driven ticket prices to record highs.
  • Both Reese and Clark have lived up to the hype on the court, with their play backing up their popularity and drawing in massive crowds.



With a boom in viewership for the WNBA also comes various talking points that seemingly dominate the media. Who is better than whom? Who gets the favorable whistle from the referees? And which players are deserving of an All-Star appearance?

No matter the stance one may take, one thing that all should agree on: the 2024 rookie class has changed the WNBA in ways it has never seen before. Attendance is at an all-time high. Charter flights are being utilized for the first time and ticket sales have risen due to demand.


A Two-Headed Beast

A historic rivalry helps drive the WNBA to never-before-seen heights

caitlin clark

While the star of the rookie class, Caitlin Clark, has undoubtedly been the catalyst for such growth, other names have also played a significant role in the league’s explosion in popularity.


Two high-profile rookies continue their rivalry that began at the biggest stage for a college athlete. The story is simple enough, yet that is the sole reason the ticket prices for the Indiana Fever vs the Chicago Sky are the most expensive ever in WNBA history. The biggest name in the rookie class, Clark, will once again face fellow star rookie Angel Reese in yet another highly-anticipated matchup on June 23rd. Ticket prices are listed at an average of $253, 187 percent higher than the Sky’s average of $88 for the season, according to TickPick. The matchup is so anticipated that the ticket prices dwarf the average cost for the Chicago Bulls home games, which came in at $117.


In the sixteen home games for the Fever this season, an average of 15,949.38 people have been in attendance. A significant increase from the 5,499.48 average home attendance for the 2023 season, or, a near 10,000 increase. But that is to be expected from the Fever. The biggest name in college basketball history brings with her a dedicated and passionate fan base that can be found in every corner of the league. While the increase is as dramatic, Reese also brings with her a dedicated fan base for the Sky, helping increase the average home attendance from 6,844.55 in 2023 to 9,425.93 in 2024.

Highest Home Attendance

Team

2023

2024

Indiana Fever

14,406

20,333

Chicago Sky

14,040

17,274

Money Where Your Mouth Is

The play of Clark and Reese backs up their hype

Chicago Sky Angel Reese
Getty


However, the rivalry between these two exceptional players would be meaningless if they didn’t excel on the court. Reese was as advertised entering the season. A low-post bruiser who excels at fighting for rebounds and generating second-chance points, Reese set the rookie record for most consecutive double-doubles with seven.

And while Reese hasn’t been the most efficient when scoring, she still averages a double-double on the season and currently ranks seventh in the initial All-Star voting. She has been physical and a leader, two traits that rookies often take time to develop. She also leads all rookies in rebounds and steals per game.

Angel Reese vs. Caitlin Clark

Category

Angel Reese

Caitlin Clark

PPG

12.4

16.3

RPG

10.8

5.5

SPG

1.9

1.4

TOV

1.9

5.5


As impressive as Reese has been this season, Clark has been just as good, if not better. Sure, her turnovers and inefficiency have stood out and played a part in her not making the USA roster for the Paris Olympics. But early struggles are to be expected for a ball-dominant player on a team nearly devoid of talent. In fact, after the Fever beat the Sky on June 18th when Clark notched her seventh 20-point performance of the season, Clark claimed the top spot in the WNBA’s Rookie of the Year rankings. She currently leads all rookies in points and assists per game.

Two big names bringing in big crowds. Clark and Reese have done that since college. And as the two develop and grow, so will the WNBA’s brand. And so will the ticket prices.

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