SBD/Issue 238/Leagues & Governing Bodies

WNBA Finals Game One Does Not Draw Well In Detroit

Detroit Fails To Pack The House
For First Game Of WNBA Finals
The reported attendance of 10,513 for last night's Mercury-Shock WNBA Finals Game One “points to some creative counting,” as the 22,076-seat Palace of Auburn Hills “was only a fourth full,” according to Joanne Gerstner of the DETROIT NEWS. The entire upper section was curtained off, so "if only about 5,000 showed and there were 4,000 free tickets available, what does that say about the WNBA?”  The Shock have “drawn good crowds” during their playoff run -- “around 10,000 without accounting creativity.” There was also a lower bowl sellout of 11,425 during the Eastern Conference Finals.  WNBA President Donna Orender said, “I don’t think this is a bad turnout, I really don’t. We expect [Game Two] Saturday to be a packed house.” Palace Sports & Entertainment President Tom Wilson said, “I wish I knew what exactly kept people away. Maybe it was the short turnaround between games, or maybe the start of school, or people stuck at work -- who knows? We didn’t have much time to really get the word out. But we’re confident that Saturday will bring out the large ... crowd." There are still 3,000 of the 4,000 free tickets available for Saturday’s Game Two at 3:30pm ET, which goes up against Oregon-Michigan on ABC.  The start time of a potential Game Five on September 16 overlaps with Vikings-Lions (DETROIT NEWS, 9/6).

UNDECIDED MAJOR: Storm F Lauren Jackson, who was named MVP yesterday, was asked if she will return to the Storm if the team agrees to move to Oklahoma City.  Jackson: “If the team’s there, it’s pretty well set that I’ll be back. … But if they move, who knows" ("WNBA Finals Game One," ESPN, 9/5).

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