By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – It wasn’t that long ago when drapes were hung at Carver-Hawkeye Arena during Iowa women’s basketball games to cover up the empty seats.
But then Caitlin Clark became a Hawkeye, and she with help from her talented supporting cast, have made the Iowa women’s basketball team the hottest ticket in town under head coach Lisa Bluder.
In fact, the demand for tickets for the 2023-24 season is so high right now that the Iowa athletic ticket office has paused the season ticket deposit program because of “overwhelming interest” in Iowa women’s basketball.
Fans that have placed deposits will be contacted this summer in order of their ticket office priority points.
Iowa made the announcement on its website Thursday afternoon.
The Iowa women’s basketball team became a national story this season as Clark and her cohorts advanced to the national championship game for the first time in program history.
Iowa lost to LSU 102-85 in the title game this past Sunday in Dallas and finished 31-7 overall. Iowa also won the Big Ten Tournament for the second year in a row.
Clark, a 6-foot junior point guard from West Des Moines, has been recognized as the consensus National Player of the Year, and she is one of three starters that will return next season.
Iowa set a Big Ten record for home attendance this season, and its national title game against LSU had 9.9 million viewers, which is another record.
Iowa finished the regular season averaging 10,738 fans per home game, which eclipsed the previous record set in 1997-98 by Wisconsin when it averaged 10,455. Iowa also led the league in attendance at Big Ten games as well. Iowa finished the regular season averaging 11,660 for its Big Ten games, second in conference history to Wisconsin of 1997-98 (12,474).
Iowa also hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament this season and both of its games against Southeastern Louisiana and Georgia were sold out.