A record number of people filled the seats at Kinnick Stadium to watch a women’s college basketball exhibition game: 55,646.
If you told Lisa Bluder about this back in 2000, she wouldn’t have believed you.
“I don’t think I could’ve ever dreamt this,” Bluder said. “It’s unfathomable… truly. We were probably playing in front of 55 people sometimes. Basketball is basketball and we tried to play with as much joy then as we do today.”
“It’s pretty incredible,” Caitlin Clark said. “It’s hard to kind of imagine yourself playing basketball in front of 55,000. I was looking at some of the pictures … and even the backdrop, seeing people react to your shots and stuff is just really cool. Just the way people support women’s athletics here in the state of Iowa is pretty incredible as a whole, but obviously women’s basketball especially.”
“Would I have ever imagined being in this position two years ago? Absolutely not,” Molly Davis said. “Forever grateful for the opportunity and forever grateful that I got to experience something like this. It was truly remarkable.”
“It was unreal,” Gabbie Marshall said. “I thought 15,000 was a lot and we play in front of that every day, but 55,000? That is crazy numbers.”
“Enjoy the moments when when we have 55,000 people watching us,” Kate Martin said. “That is so cool, but obviously it comes with high expectations, it comes with pressure, whatever it may be. Obviously, we just focus on what we have in that circle. Whenever you’re playing, you’re trying to soak it in. Nothing matters than what’s on that court in those moments.”
Not only was the Crossover at Kinnick historic, but it raised more than $250,000 for the kids at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. It just goes to show you more people are watching women’s sports because of the Iowa Hawkeyes.