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tk13
06-25-2005, 01:29 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/11981711.htm

WNBA looking at KC market
League president says it would be ‘good fit’

By RANDY COVITZ
Kansas City Star

Maybe NBA commissioner David Stern wasn’t kidding when he made an off-the-cuff remark a few months ago by saying Kansas City should go after a WNBA team once the Sprint Center opens.

Stern dispatched WNBA president Donna Orender to the official Sprint Center groundbreaking Friday, and she said the league is investigating the prospects of bringing an expansion team to the $250 million arena after it opens in the fall of 2007.

The 34-game WNBA season runs from May through August, so the earliest a franchise could play in the 18,500-seat facility would be 2008.

“Kansas City certainly would be a place that would be a good fit,” said Orender, who was accompanied by Margaret Stender, president of an expansion franchise for Chicago that will begin play as the league’s 14th team in 2006.

“The WNBA’s goal is to add a franchise a year for the foreseeable future,” Orender said. “Kansas City is a great sports town. It’s a town that supports youth in sports that are family focused and affordable. That’s what the WNBA brings to any market it comes to.”

Orender, in her first year as WNBA president, and Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which will manage the Sprint Center, met with Mayor Kay Barnes and potential investors for the franchise — which could cost between $10 million and $15 million.

When the WNBA was formed in 1997, its franchises were owned and operated by NBA clubs in the same city, and the teams could share business operations. The WNBA changed that business model a few years ago and allowed teams to be in non-WNBA cities.

A WNBA exhibition game between Minnesota and Detroit in May drew 4,052 at Municipal Auditorium.

That facility, which seats around 9,000, would seem to be a better fit for the league, which averaged 8,571 fans per game in 2004, a slight drop from the 8,826 in 2003.

The Chicago franchise will play at the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion, which holds 6,500, but Leiweke said Municipal is not an option.

“David Stern has made it very clear, it’s Sprint Center or nothing,” Leiweke said. “If you look at the footprint of the WNBA, they need a team in this region, and as you see with K-State and KU, women’s basketball has begun to emerge here that people are following and are interested in.

“K-State had a pretty good year, and KU has a new women’s coach, and their program is on the rise. The WNBA has done its homework, and hopefully we can find a group of owners and community leaders who want to step up to the WNBA. This is a great market for the WNBA, and then the big fish … capturing an NBA or NHL franchise.”

It’s still not out of the realm of possibility that Kansas City could have an NBA or NHL franchise by the fall of 2007 said Leiweke, who is in constant communication with Stern and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

“I have met with both commissioners,” said Leiweke, whose company owns the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and part of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, “and they’re very impressed by the city, by the passion, and by how enthusiastic everyone is for the Sprint Center.”

Because neither league is in a mode to expand, Kansas City’s best shot at landing an NHL or NBA franchise is to convince an existing club to relocate.

“We don’t believe in going in and robbing a team in the middle of the night,” said Leiweke, who sits on the Board of Governors of the NHL. “We want to do this the right way, and not the wrong way. We’re going to stay within the direction of both commissioners.”

Meanwhile, Leiweke signed final documents with the city regarding AEG’s responsibilities with the Sprint Center, clearing one of the roadblocks to completing a deal with the Arena Football League franchise that is expected to move into the Sprint Center in 2007 or 2008 after beginning play at Kemper Arena in 2006.

A group headed by C. Tyler Prochnow, who attended the groundbreaking, is expected to be introduced as the Arena League’s newest franchise once a lease for the Sprint Center is signed.

“We haven’t been able to negotiate a lease because we didn’t have the right to do that until we had an agreement with the city in its definitive form,” Leiweke said. “We’re anxious to sit down with them and move along.”

keg in kc
06-25-2005, 01:31 AM
File this one under "who gives a shit?".

Rausch
06-25-2005, 02:29 AM
I think it's great women have their own pro league. Seriously.

I just don't want to watch it....

eazyb81
06-25-2005, 07:36 AM
:Lin:


If we spend $250 million on a state of the art arena to have an Arena League football team and a WNBA team, I may just move to St. Louis. I hope to God that there is more interest by the WNBA then there is from Kansas City.

Deberg_1990
06-25-2005, 07:47 AM
I think it's great women have their own pro league. Seriously.

I just don't want to watch it....


I think you just spoke for the rest of the 200 million Americans. exactly how I feel.

Skip Towne
06-25-2005, 08:07 AM
:Lin:

KILLER_CLOWN
06-25-2005, 08:29 AM
Actually i heard a segment on the radio about it yesterday. Not a bad thing really, they just fill in empty dates during the summer. I'm not exactly going to watch it, but i'm sure a few peeps will so no biggie.

mikey23545
06-25-2005, 09:55 AM
I think it's cute the girls have a league of their own...

ChiefsCountry
06-25-2005, 10:08 AM
Should put the team in Springfield. Its the only freaking city that gives a crap about girls basketball.

John_Wayne
06-25-2005, 10:37 AM
NO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nychief
06-25-2005, 10:54 AM
Where is Padme?

You killed her with your anger....


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

KCChiefsFan88
06-25-2005, 11:53 AM
It would give Mechelle Voepel and Karen Kornacki something to do

Skip Towne
06-25-2005, 12:04 PM
Should put the team in Springfield. Its the only freaking city that gives a crap about girls basketball.
Put 'em in Columbia. They'd be competitive there.

Thig Lyfe
06-25-2005, 01:19 PM
File this one under "who gives a shit?".

Same here.

It's basically a money pit. Nobody watches the WNBA outside of lesbians and... um... other people.

beavis
06-25-2005, 01:21 PM
No thanks, we already got the American Royal.

HemiEd
06-25-2005, 01:22 PM
File this one under "who gives a shit?".

Exactly, never watched 30 seconds of it and do not plan to.

beavis
06-25-2005, 01:22 PM
Put 'em in Columbia. They'd be competitive there.
... two times a year.

keg in kc
06-25-2005, 01:23 PM
I should point out that if you took out the "W" in the article and it was about the "NBA" I'd still file this under "who gives a shit".

HemiEd
06-25-2005, 01:33 PM
I should point out that if you took out the "W" in the article and it was about the "NBA" I'd still file this under "who gives a shit".


I watched a couple of the Bulls playoff games this year, a real stretch. NBA could be substituted for a sedative for me.

eazyb81
06-25-2005, 02:02 PM
I should point out that if you took out the "W" in the article and it was about the "NBA" I'd still file this under "who gives a shit".

So do you want an NHL team instead, or are you happy with spending over $250 million for an Arena Football team?

If we can't end up bringing an NBA or NHL team to KC, then IMO the whole Sprint Center plan will have been a disaster.

Ari Chi3fs
06-25-2005, 02:24 PM
seems like i would almost have rather giveing that 250 million to the Chiefs to renovate Arrowhead.

keg in kc
06-25-2005, 02:46 PM
So do you want an NHL team insteadYes.

eazyb81
06-25-2005, 02:55 PM
seems like i would almost have rather giveing that 250 million to the Chiefs to renovate Arrowhead.

I would have happily given the $250 mill to the Chiefs and Royals for stadium renovations if we don't end up with an NBA or NHL team.

If a WNBA team is our big draw for the Sprint Center, then that will be pretty fuggin sad.

eazyb81
06-25-2005, 02:56 PM
Yes.

me too, although I wouldn't be too upset with an NBA team. As long as we get one or the other, I will be happy.

ChiefsCountry
06-25-2005, 03:08 PM
We built the arena for the Big 12 tournament. Main reason. NBA and NHL would be a nice tenant for it.

Brando
06-25-2005, 03:19 PM
I leave town for a week and you guys are already luring in shit like this? There are enough lesbian bars in town already we don't need no lesbian basketball teams too.

HemiEd
06-25-2005, 03:19 PM
We built the arena for the Big 12 tournament. Main reason. NBA and NHL would be a nice tenant for it.


Just curious, why would an NBA team succeed when it did not before? :hmmm:

Count Zarth
06-25-2005, 03:28 PM
You guys that doubt it need to watch a few games. I covered my collegiate women's basketball team for two semesters. At the beginning I was skeptical, but by the end, I was enjoying the games.

One thing I liked was the lack of hotdogging that seems to be rampant in men's basketball now.

Skip Towne
06-25-2005, 03:41 PM
You guys that doubt it need to watch a few games. I covered my collegiate women's basketball team for two semesters. At the beginning I was skeptical, but by the end, I was enjoying the games.

One thing I liked was the lack of hotdogging that seems to be rampant in men's basketball now.
Did you know the girls? Were they lebanese? Is it possible those girls don't hotdog because they can't? Can any of them dunk?

Count Zarth
06-25-2005, 03:42 PM
Did you know the girls? Were they lebanese? Is it possible those girls don't hotdog because they can't? Can any of them dunk?

I knew a few of them on a professional level. None were lebanese. Anyone can hotdog. None of them can dunk.

eazyb81
06-25-2005, 03:42 PM
Just curious, why would an NBA team succeed when it did not before? :hmmm:

Are you sure that it didn't succeed here? Or was it moved to a city that was perceived to be more lucrative?

From what I remember, the Kings drew very well while they were in Kansas City. Just because a team relocates doesn't mean that they failed at their previous home (Cleveland Browns, Minnesota NorthStars for example).

keg in kc
06-25-2005, 03:43 PM
Were they lebanese? Dumb ass. It's "thespians" not "lebanese". Geesh.

whoman69
06-25-2005, 03:49 PM
It would make little sense for them to put a team in the Sprint Center if its a bad fit. Because of the lack of fan base, they would lose money there, where in another, less expensive venue, they could maybe make money and work their way up to the better facility. I am sure that the residents of KC did not build the facility with the knowlege that the best they could attract is the WNBA.

HemiEd
06-25-2005, 04:09 PM
Are you sure that it didn't succeed here? Or was it moved to a city that was perceived to be more lucrative?

From what I remember, the Kings drew very well while they were in Kansas City. Just because a team relocates doesn't mean that they failed at their previous home (Cleveland Browns, Minnesota NorthStars for example).

I am not sure of much when it comes to the NBA. However, I went to a couple of their games that my attendance guess would have been less than a thousand. My perception was that the NBA could not compete with College Basketball in KC. A lot of things have changed since then, who knows. One thing that has not changed for me, snooze when it comes to the NBA.

VonneMarie
06-25-2005, 07:39 PM
No thanks.

cookster50
06-25-2005, 07:46 PM
I think it's great women have their own pro league. Seriously.

I just don't want to watch it....


Unless they were all hot and topless.

Saulbadguy
06-27-2005, 12:00 PM
We've already got a pro-level Womens basketball team in Manhattan. Don't need another. :)

beavis
06-27-2005, 12:25 PM
We've already got a pro-level Womens basketball team in Manhattan. Don't need another. :)
I thought you wanted to fire Woolridge?

Saulbadguy
06-27-2005, 12:27 PM
I thought you wanted to fire Woolridge?
ROFL

Ouch...good one. I wouldn't mind firing the lot of them, actually. Deb Patterson sucks as a game coach. Excellent recruiter, though.

alpha_omega
06-27-2005, 12:32 PM
WNBA =

Will
Not
Be
Attending

beavis
06-27-2005, 12:39 PM
ROFL

Ouch...good one. I wouldn't mind firing the lot of them, actually. Deb Patterson sucks as a game coach. Excellent recruiter, though.
Sorry, you teed that one up for me. Couldn't resist. :p

Saulbadguy
06-27-2005, 12:40 PM
You guys that doubt it need to watch a few games. I covered my collegiate women's basketball team for two semesters. At the beginning I was skeptical, but by the end, I was enjoying the games.

One thing I liked was the lack of hotdogging that seems to be rampant in men's basketball now.

This is a pretty good point. Those of you who enjoy basketball, but don't enjoy the NBA with its prima donnas, lack of travelling fouls called, and the different style of game than the college game, would enjoy the WNBA.

Lzen
06-27-2005, 01:08 PM
Put 'em in Columbia. They'd be competitive there.

:LOL: