Iowa Hawkeyes bring in record-breaking crowd at outdoor women's basketball game
The GIST: Basketball season doesn’t start partying for three more weeks, but the Iowa Hawkeyes are celebrating early with a record-breaking crowd at their Crossover at Kinnick event. Another day, another monumental women’s sports milestone.
The details: The Hawkeyes, led by reigning Player of the Year Caitlin Clark, capitalized on their buzz from last year’s national final run by hosting an exhibition against DePaul in Iowa’s football stadium yesterday. The 55.6K fans who showed up smashed the NCAA women’s hoops attendance record, all while raising over $250K for the Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Incredible.
- Since it was just a preseason exhibition, the game won’t count toward team records…but that didn’t stop Clark from balling out. The triple-double queen struck again, racking up 34 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. Setting the tone.
The buzz: The state of Iowa has long loved women’s hoops, but the Hawkeyes’ magical run last spring electrified the fanbase. Clark, in particular, has become a household name and, along with stars like LSU’s Angel Reese and UConn’s Paige Bueckers, she’s one of the driving forces behind the women’s game’s growth.
Zooming out: The Crossover at Kinnick comes on the heels of August’s Volleyball Day in Nebraska, when the Cornhuskers’ powerhouse team broke the attendance record for any women’s sporting event ever (!!!) in their own football stadium.
- As enthusiasm for female athletes continues to skyrocket, expect more mammoth events like these — but there’s no football stadium in the world big enough to contain our love for women’s sports.