Caitlin Clark, Indiana Fever, WNBA
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WNBA Commissioner On Caitlin Clark Impact: 'Our Phones Are Ringing Off The Hook'

It's a whole new world in the WNBA, thanks largely to Indiana Fever guard and No. 1 overall pick Caitlin Clark, formerly the Taylor Swift of college basketball at the University of Iowa.

Nowadays, the season is highly anticipated and tickets and merchandise are hot items. It seems that people are noticing the league more than ever. You could even say they have — for lack of a better word — WNBA fever.

Basically, the league is on the brink of a mainstream explosion, as WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert told NBC News.

That said, it still needs some outside commitments to push it to new levels, she added. But so far so good, with the popularity of Clark leading the charge.

"We need the ecosystem, essentially, the sports ecosystem to step up," Engelbert said. "And I feel really good that that's going to happen with our next media rights negotiation, as well as our corporate partners. Our phones are ringing off the hook."

The WNBA regular season tips off Tuesday, May 14, with Clark and the Fever opening on the road with a visit to the Connecticut Sun. It almost feels like the first leg of a Beatles tour in 1965.

But again, Clark's presence — as well as that of Angel Reese (Chicago Sky) and other high-profile rookies — is just a start.

"A lot of people are asking if the WNBA can meet the moment," said Aaron Barzilai, founder of, which tracks WNBA data. "They're hopeful, but there's still an element of 'We'll see.'"

Yes, even with Clark and this year's rookie class, we will see, no doubt. But for the first time in its history, the WNBA enters the season with a lot of people looking and waiting to find out.