Why Mercury, WNBA fans should pay close attention to Caitlin Clark’s first game in Phoenix (nuna)

Why Mercury, WNBA fans should pay close attention to Caitlin Clark’s first game in Phoenix© Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Inching closer and closer to Caitlin Clark’s first game in Phoenix, Footprint Center is about to be jampacked when the Mercury hosts the Indiana Fever.

When taking a look at the ticket selling website TicketMaster and the amount of seats that are available for the game, most of the arena’s upper bowl is full. Normally the upper bowl is not open for Mercury games only, with a few exceptions and this is one of them.

Clark’s popularity continues to skyrocket after WNBA Draft

Making a name for herself beginning in college, Clark averaged 28.4 points, 8.2 assists and 7.1 rebounds during her four years (2020-24) at Iowa. Being the Hawkeyes’ leader during her collegiate career, she guided her team to making two national championship games in back-to-back seasons.

The 2024 WNBA Draft pick Clark has been in the center of attention in the league as media and fans have indulged in the craze surrounding her stardom. While she has already made history multiple times and is getting used to being a WNBA player, the things she says or does is disected online profusely which causes controversy and drama.

So far in her rookie year, Clark is averaging 16.2 points, 6.6 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game, becoming more and more acclimated with the limelight on her every time she plays.

The attention she attracts not only continues to increase day-by-day, but the entire WNBA has seen a massive jump in attraction ever since her arrival. According to Sports Media Watch, 13 WNBA games this season broke viewership records and 12 involve the Fever. YahooSports reported that the Fever’s game against the Chicago Sky on June 23 was the highest-viewed WNBA game in 23 years, with 2.3 million consistent viewers and topping out at 3.3 million on ESPN.

Mercury, basketball fans to experience first in the Valley

Seeing someone with such star power coming just once locally is an opportunity many are not willing to miss. For the loyal Mercury fans, aka the “X-Factor,” they will try to create a hostile environment for any visiting team and the Fever will be no exception.

Adding Mercury star Diana Taurasi’s comments after Clark was drafted about her transition from college to the WNBA, this will be an intriguing battle between a legend and a future star.

“Reality is coming, there’s levels to this thing,” Taurasi said about it takes time for rookies to adjust to the WNBA. “That’s just life, we’ve all been through it. You’ve seen it on the NBA side and you are going to see it on this side where you look superhuman playing against 18-year-olds, but you are gonna come in with some girls who have been playing professional basketball for a long time. Not saying it is not going to translate because when you are great at what you do, you are just going to get better. But there is going to be a transition period where you will have to give yourself some graces as a rookie. It might take longer for some people.”

There are limited tickets left for Clarks first and only game in the Valley, with some up for sale and others available via resale. Click the Ticketmaster link near the beginning of the article to look at the seats and pricing.

Practically in ever Fever game, they are sold out – home or away – since WNBA and basketball fans alike want to witness one of the most popular women’s players that the sport has ever seen. Getting a chance to witness someone like Clark in Phoenix is creating a massive buzz around the Mercury.

It will be interesting to see what the aftermath of how this game will impact the Mercury going forward in terms of future viewership and attendance. On Friday, Phoenix set a season-high in attendance with 14,363 people watching the Mercury beat the Los Angeles Sparks, 92-78,

On Sunday, the game between the Fever and Mercury begins at noon PT.

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