The Impact of Caitlin Clark Sending Lucas Oil Stadium Into a Fever

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Caitlin Clark made an appearance at Lucas Oil Stadium for the Olympic Swimming Team Trials on Tuesday sending the fans in attendance into a Hoosier Hysteria.

Clark, one of the biggest names in sports, was at the Trials in conjunction with the theme of the night -celebrating women in sports.

In an Olympic Trials that has exceeded expectations when it comes to how many people that have witnessed the spectacle, to say the fans were ready to welcome the Indiana Fever would be an enormous understatement.

A round of applause was there to greet every member of the team as they were introduced to the stadium. Even so as the stadium announcer introduced Clark the stadium erupted into cheers that matched that of Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel.

More importantly, Clark’s appearance at Lucas Oil for the Trials brought together two of the biggest loves of the State of Indiana – basketball and swimming. 

In Indiana the IHSAA Basketball Tournament that takes place every March has been dubbed Hoosier Hysteria because of the fans’ reactions to the game and their dedication to it. Moreover there is a saying in the state that simply goes “In 49 Other States it’s Basketball, but this is Indiana.”

More, every year at the IHSAA Swimming & Diving State Championships just under a combined 10,000 fans pack into the IU Natatorium to watch a champion be named. It’s a meet that has so much energy that many competing can’t find the same feeling to match it until they get to meets like Olympic Trials.

These events help display what the arrival of Caitlin Clark has meant to the state as a whole and its fans that dedicate themselves to their home team regardless of the record.

To have a figure like Clark in attendance and receive the ovation she did at the Olympic Swimming Trials is a big deal. It not only speaks to how far women’s basketball has come but how far swimming has come as well.

In many ways the arrival of Clark to the Fever and the Trials back to the city of Indianapolis, shows what the future holds for sports in Indiana. It shows that the sports culture that is here is not only growing but it is thriving.

Notably Clark is no stranger to the swimming community. In early April a video of Clark doing press for the Women’s Final Four went viral. In the video members of the Iowa Women’s Basketball Team were asked to show their phone screen-saver; and Clark’s phone showed a photo from Michael Phelps swimming at the Rio Olympics. 

Clark showing off her phone to the camera said “This is Michael Phelps, swimming in the Olympics…He’s pretty tough.” 

Indiana – and beyond – thinks Clark is pretty tough too, and stopping by the Olympic Trials was huge in bringing stars and sports together.

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