Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

WNBA Move Helps Fans

October 22, 2002 Columns No Comments



Can a WNBA Move Entice Women’s Hoops Fans?

by Shannon Shelton

Although this is not a professional basketball website, news of the WNBA is
often received with interest by women’s college basketball fans and players,
since many see the health of the league as a general statement about
national interest in women’s hoops.

A very recent shakeup in the WNBA, therefore, can be seen as a sign that the
league is headed toward an untimely end or moving to a better situation that
would be more beneficial to women’s hoops fans across the nation.

On Monday, the operators of the Orlando franchise made an unexpected
announcement that they were dropping the Miracle team for the 2003 season.
While it has been under speculation that cities like Detroit, Utah and
Charlotte, which lost its NBA team to New Orleans, would give up their WNBA
teams, Orlando was seen as a safe site for the WNBA.

The Miracle will likely move to San Antonio, which is in the midst of the
approval process for a WNBA team and is close to reaching the required
6,000-season ticket order mark. San Antonio is geared to start play in 2003.

The Miracle move is just a reaction to a recent move by the NBA Board of
Governors. That might be the bigger story. Earlier the month, a Board of
Governors vote approved changes in the WNBA structure that hastened the
Orlando move. The NBA now jointly owns all of the WNBA squads, but plans to
move to individual ownership. The NBA also opened the door for non-NBA
owners to own a WNBA team or for WNBA teams to be located in cities where
NBA teams don’t exist.

Currently at 16 teams, the WNBA wants to put teams in new cities, but not
expand, citing a fear of diluting its talent pool. This likely means that
current NBA franchises might choose to abandon their WNBA teams, allowing
them to move to other cities.

There are two possible outcomes to this action. Some are worried this might
be the end of the league, as more NBA owners, like the Orlando Magic owners,
will decide they don’t want to take on the sole financial responsibility for
their city’s WNBA team and let it go.

For the sake of women college basketball players, one would hope this isn’t
the beginning of the end for the league, as the WNBA has given them a
professional opportunity in this country they can look forward to after
graduation.

In an ideal situation, the move will open doors for the WNBA to improve its
product by putting teams in cities that really want them. One benefit could
be that areas that have been proven successes for women’s college basketball
can be converted into WNBA towns, even if they don’t have an NBA team.

Areas like Hartford, Conn., have been clamoring for a WNBA team since
previous women’s professional leagues have been successful there. The
University of Connecticut isn’t too far away in Storrs, and the Huskies’
success has made the state a women’s basketball hotbed.

The WNBA has expressed interest in Hartford, which used to average about
10,000 for its New England Blizzard team in the defunct American Basketball
League in 1997-98. A site in Tennessee could also take advantage of the
popularity of women’s basketball at the University of Tennessee and
Vanderbilt.

The WNBA is positive about its new structure, saying it is no longer a
league in infancy and should stand on its own feet. One would hope that the
popularity of women’s basketball is strong enough in this country that the
league can survive without the financial backing of the NBA.

     

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 18, 2018

January 18, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about big road wins for a few teams, including a couple of bluebloods that looked destined for losses, as well as an unsettled Big Ten beyond one team, an SEC where you shouldn’t pay attention to bracketologists, and the problems with a proposed earlier start to the college basketball season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 11, 2018

January 11, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about several big pieces of news away from game play, one of which puts a lot in perspective. We also talk about the lack of dominant teams and how this has shown up in the results, especially this past weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 4, 2018

January 4, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with a big game in the Big East, then move on to the sudden lack of undefeated teams, a big injury in the ACC, and a powerhouse that looks vulnerable in a stacked conference they have long ruled.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a bizarre finish to an early-season tournament game, the Pac-12’s early struggles, Florida teams going in different directions and two northeast teams trending less relevant even as they excite fans at a famous arena.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 by

In our pre-Thanksgiving podcast, we look at a key injury that is likely to be devastating for his team and an under-the-radar 4-0 week, then move on to some early SEC impressions and a couple of teams that just continue to win.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.