The anticipation surrounding WNBA rookie Caitlin Clark's impact on the Indiana Fever has already led to a significant venue change for their upcoming June 7 matchup against the Washington Mystics.

Due to overwhelming demand, the Mystics announced Thursday that the game will be relocated from the Entertainment Sports Arena, which seats 4,200, to the much larger Capital One Arena, capable of hosting 20,356 fans, per Michele Kettner of Northern Virginia Magazine.

The move to Capital One Arena reflects the extraordinary interest generated by Clark’s arrival in the WNBA. The game, originally set for a smaller venue, has been shifted to accommodate the expected influx of fans eager to see the new Fever guard in action. This adjustment keeps all other game day logistics unchanged, with the game tipping off at 7:30 p.m. and broadcasted on ION television as part of the WNBA's Fright Night series.

Additional tickets for this highly anticipated game will be available from April 23, providing both season ticket holders and new buyers the opportunity to experience the game in a more fitting, grandiose setting. The move also opens up premium hospitality options at Capital One Arena, including suites and the all-inclusive courtside Hennessy Lofts, Washington said in a statement, per David Aldrige of The Atheltic.

The Caitlin Clark Effect on WNBA and viewer engagement

A press conference welcoming Indiana Fever player Caitlin Clark, former Iowa Hawkeye standout and the no. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA draft
© Mykal McEldowney-USA TODAY NETWORK/Indianapolis Star-USA TODAY NETW

Caitlin Clark has become a household name in basketball circles following a stellar college career at Iowa, where she shattered scoring records and demonstrated a remarkable shooting range. Her ability to score from beyond the arc has made her one of the most exciting players to transition from college to the professional stage. Her overtaking of Pete Maravich as the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer this season only adds to her growing legend.

Clark's drawing power was evident even before her first professional game, influencing decisions by multiple teams to accommodate larger crowds. The Las Vegas Aces, for instance, previously announced a similar venue change for their game against the Fever, moving from the Michelob Ultra Arena to the larger T-Mobile Arena.

The “Caitlin Clark effect” is also evident in the broader WNBA landscape, with a surge in ticket sales and viewership numbers. The 2024 Women’s NCAA Championship game featuring Clark's Iowa Hawkeyes drew an average of 18.7 million viewers, and the WNBA Draft attracted 2.45 million viewers. This increasing interest is reflected in the pricing of WNBA games, where the Fever's games are now among the highest-priced, underscoring the market's recognition of Clark's impact.

As the WNBA season progresses, the attention will not only be on Clark's performance but also on the league's ability to leverage her star power. The Fever's strategic decision to draft Clark has already proven to be a catalyst for heightened interest and commercial opportunities within the league, setting the stage for what could be one of the most transformative seasons in WNBA history.