Jun 7, 2023 - News

Elite women’s college basketball is coming to Charlotte this fall

Iowa star player, Caitlin Clark celebrates after making a three-point basket. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Elite women’s college basketball is heading to Spectrum Center in Uptown this fall.

Driving the news: The Iowa Hawkeyes and Virginia Tech Hokies will play in the inaugural Ally Tipoff at Spectrum Center on Nov. 9.

Context: The matchup features Iowa All-American Caitlin Clark — yes, the player who made buckets on buckets during the NCAA tournament and led the nation in three-pointers last season — and Virginia Tech All-America Elizabeth Kitley. Both teams appeared in the Final Four last season.

Why it matters: Women’s sports are seeing increased interest and investment at the college and professional levels.

Increasing access to women’s sports was an easy business decision, Stephanie Marciano, Ally’s head of sports & entertainment marketing, tells Axios.

  • Marciano played basketball at Yale. She knows how talented and entertaining these athletes are, she says. Now she’s seeing the industry she works in catch up to what she and many others already know: There’s a lack of access to women’s sports and a lack of resources. Gradually, that’s changing.

Between the lines: Charlotte Sports Foundation, which is putting on the Ally Tipoff, has been working to bring all sorts of collegiate sports to town.

CSF brought two HBCU football programs to Charlotte for the first time in the 2022 Duke’s Mayo Classic at Bank of America Stadium, and it launched a three-year deal with the Jordan Brand to host men’s and women’s college basketball at Spectrum Center with the Jumpman Invitational and it’s now highlighting women’s basketball exclusively with the Ally Tipoff.

What they’re saying: CSF expects a large crowd for the women’s game.

  • “Charlotte supports women’s sports,” CSF executive director Danny Morrison tells Axios. “I think it’s going to be a hard ticket [to get].”

Details: The game will air on an ESPN platform. Time and which channel will be determined in the coming months.

What’s next: Tickets will go on sale later this summer. You can sign up for presale information at AllyTipoff.com.

Ally Tipoff logo
Logo courtesy fo the Charlotte Sports Foundation
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