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WNBA All-Star Fan Voting Increases by 600 Percent From Last Year as Rookies Lead Popularity Boom

Rookies Push WNBA All-Star Fan Voting to 600 Percent Increase Over Last Year
Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

WNBA All-Star voting increased by more than 600 percent from 2023 to 2024, according to the final numbers the league released on Tuesday, July 2.

Last year, no WNBA player received 100,000 fan votes. In 2024, Caitlin Clark led all vote-getters with 700,735.

Clark’s teammate on the Indiana Fever, Aliyah Boston, received the second-most votes with 618,680. A’ja Wilson, last year’s leading vote-getter, garnered 607,300 votes this year, a 533 percent increase that still dropped her two spots on the overall list.

The WNBA All-Stars will go up against the USA Olympic Women’s Basketball Team on July 20 for this year’s version of the All-Star Game in Phoenix. For Team USA, it will be an exhibition as the team prepares for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

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Fan voting accounted for 50 percent of the total vote, with players and media responsible for the other half.

In addition to Wilson, several other players on Team USA received enough votes for All-Star Selection, though their votes were ultimately discounted when assembling the roster.

Clark and fellow rookie Angel Reese of the Chicago Sky are among the biggest reasons for the massive increase in interest in the WNBA. Though the WNBA was on an upward trajectory before the two entered the league, their presence has shifted the organization’s growth from steady to exponential.

Rookies Push WNBA All-Star Fan Voting to 600 Percent Increase Over Last Year
Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

The WNBA announced in June that viewership across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and CBS had tripled from last year, now averaging 1.32 million fans per game. Attendance also increased by 17 percent from last year over the first month of the season, making it the best-attended opening month for the league in 26 years.

In the first month of the season, purchases at WNBAStore.com were up by 756 percent compared to last year.

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“What’s happening now in women’s basketball is confirmation of what we’ve always known: The demand is there, and women’s sports is a valuable investment,” the WNBA’s chief growth officer, Colie Edison, said in a statement when the league announced its first-month stats. “We’re encouraged by growing engagement across all our verticals, especially as we welcome new and diverse audiences into our fandom. The WNBA continues to experience sustained growth as our league embraces this heightened momentum.”

The WNBA All-Star Game itself should also see a massive ratings increase when it airs on ABC later this month. Not only will the game be loaded with star power, but there will be plenty of story lines to drive interest. Clark and Reese will play as teammates for the first time after going up against each other in classic games both as college and pro athletes. Clark will also face Diana Taurasi of Team USA for the third time in a month. Remember, Taurasi famously told Clark and her fellow rookies “reality is coming” before they entered the league.

For the WNBA, reality is here, and it’s magnificent.

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