Minnesota Lynx ticket sales spike for upcoming season thanks to Caitlin Clark effect

People dressed up at ceremony
Utah's Alissa Pili (right) poses for a photo with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert after being selected eighth overall by the Minnesota Lynx during the first round of the WNBA basketball draft on April 15, 2024 in New York.
Adam Hunger | AP

Ticket sales for the upcoming season are up 50 percent for the Minnesota Lynx this year as women’s basketball reaches new heights in viewership and revenue.

That’s according to Carley Knox, Minnesota Lynx president of business operations. The new craze around the WNBA has been driven in part by breakout stars like Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese, who are coming into the WNBA this season off of spectacular runs in college basketball.

The WNBA season begins Tuesday with several games including the Lynx at Seattle Storm.

Tickets are selling fast for the July 14 and August 24 Lynx home games against the Indiana Fever.

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Three women pose for photo
From left to right, LSU's Angel Reese, Iowa's Caitlin Clark and Stanford's Cameron Brink pose for a photo before the WNBA basketball draft on April 15 in New York.
Adam Hunger | AP

“This year, we’ll reach unprecedented revenue heights, which obviously we’re incredibly excited about,” said Knox. “And ultimately, that means more pay for the players. And so we are expecting to hit our revenue goals for 2025. We’ve already surpassed our revenue goals against this year for 2024.”

Lynx merchandise sold at three times the amount predicted for the preseason opener. The hottest item for fans has been Alissa Pili’s jersey. Pili was drafted to the Lynx in April from the University of Utah, where she played as a forward.

Knox said the rise in ticket and merchandise sales is an “inflection point” in the movement around women’s athletics.

“And obviously, Caitlin has played a huge role in that. But a number of the young players have played a big role in that,” she said.

“Additionally, this is just a moment in the movement,” she said. “I want to call out all the people that paved the way along, decades and decades of fighting the fight for women’s athletics, so many women of color as well. And so I’m excited to see in the future like a JuJu Watkins out of USC, and other folks and hope that they get the same exposure, but it’s not just about women’s basketball — it’s the overall movement of women's athletics as a whole.”

NCAA UConn USC Basketball
Southern California guard JuJu Watkins (right) shoots the ball over UConn guard Qadence Samuels (second from right) during the first half of an Elite Eight college basketball game in the women's NCAA Tournament on April 1 in Portland, Ore.
Steve Dykes | AP

Last week, the WNBA announced teams will be traveling on chartered flights for the next two seasons and will no longer have to rely on commercial planes. It’s a big win that players like Clark have said was long deserved and will help with recovery after games.

Outside of basketball, Minnesota established its first professional women’s hockey team with the Professional Women’s Hockey League this year — the PWHL regular season ran January to May. And Women’s Elite Rugby recently announced it would create the country’s first professional women’s rugby league next year.

The boom in viewership and ticket sales is widespread in the WNBA. Laura Correnti, founder and CEO of Deep Blue Sports + Entertainment, an agency specializing in women’s sports, told NPR in an April interview that teams across the league are seeing bumps in ticket sales and near sellouts for when Clark is in town for a game.

Two women talk to the press
Alissa Pili (left) and her coach Cheryl Reeve at the Bar of Their Own on April 22.
Gracie Stockton | MPR News

“When Caitlin Clark declared for the WNBA draft, we instantly saw the Indiana Fever’s average ticket price double,” said Correnti.

Preseason games in the WNBA are typically not televised and fans were upset when they couldn’t watch the first preseason game between the Lynx and Chicago Sky on May 3, the first opportunity to see Pili and Reese on the court as WNBA players. 

A fan did a livestream of the game that has over 2.5 million views. Knox is anticipating preseason games will be televised in the future.

“It didn’t even feel like a preseason game, just the passion and excitement around the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA right now,” said Knox. “And Caitlin Clark wasn’t in that game. So you know, that’s just a testament to see it’s not just about one player, even though she’s incredible and amazing and definitely has had an unbelievable impact on women’s sports.

“The game is changing, and people are listening and watching and investing and care about women’s athletics. And that’s what happens when you give people access to it.”

Regular season games for the Lynx will be televised through Bally Sports North, with some also appearing on Amazon Prime Video and NBA TV, while some nationally televised games will be available on Ion, ESPN, ABC and CBS.