Hawkeyes’ Attendance Total Leads NCAA Women’s Tournament First Weekend


The two sessions of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament at Carver-Hawkeye Arena had the highest first-weekend attendance total for the tournament for the second consecutive year.

The total of 28,764 tied for the fourth-highest first/second round total in NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship history. Iowa had the same attendance figure in 2018 and last year.

The two first-round games on Friday — No. 2 seed Iowa vs. Southeastern Louisiana and Florida State vs. Georgia — and Sunday’s second-round game between Iowa and Georgia each drew a sellout crowd 14,382 fans. Friday’s total was the highest among first-round games, but Sunday’s total was 98 less than Indiana drew in Monday’s home loss to Miami (Fla.).

“The product is pretty amazing,” Iowa guard Caitlin Clark said after Sunday’s game. “I think the joy and the passion that our team plays with is what attracts people to this arena. And it’s like pro sports in the state of Iowa. We’re so lucky, and a lot of credit goes to (Iowa coach Lisa Bluder), because she’s built this program up. We were just lucky to come in here. There’s been a lot of really good players who built our culture to be what it is today. And we try to hold that to a high standard as well.”

A look at some of the attendance notes from the weekend:

  • Iowa’s first-round attendance was higher than nine of the 16 sites’ first/second round combined attendance figure.
  • Iowa’s first-round attendance was the largest first-round figure among the 16 host sites and is tied for the third-highest first-round, single-session attendance figure in tournament history.
  • Iowa owns three of the top five first-round single-session attendance numbers in NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship history.
  • The second-round attendance figure tied for the fourth-highest second-round, single-session attendance figure in tournament history.
  • Iowa owns four of the top 10 second-round, single-session attendance numbers in tournament history.
  • Iowa owns four of the top nine first/second round attendance numbers in tournament history.

“That crowd is incredible,” Clark said. “And it’s something that maybe we’re getting used to, but at the same time it can be like that everywhere for women’s basketball. It really can if people just get in the arena and watch.”

Photo: Iowa center Monika Czinano waves to the crowd after Sunday’s NCAA Tournament second-round game against Georgia. (Brian Ray/hawkeyesports.com)

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