SBD/October 16, 2012/Franchises

WNBA Lynx' On-Court Success Translating To Increase In Tickets, Merch Sales

Lynx officials expect to start the '13 season with 3,000 season-ticket holders
The Lynx have now reached the WNBA Finals two straight seasons and the team's "on-court success is nearly matched on the business side," according to Roman Augustoviz of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The Lynx were "second in the league in attendance (averaging 9,683) and first nationally in merchandise sales." However, attendance at Target Center "has been a little soft in this year's playoffs." The team averaged 8,583 for its first three home playoff games, "1,200 fewer than through the first three postseason games last year." Lynx President Chris Wright said that by the end of the team's season-ticket campaign for next season, the Lynx "should have the first- or second-highest ticket base in the league." Merchandise sales at the arena pro shop also "have increased 68 percent" and season-ticket holders are renewing at a rate around 90%. Team officials "expect to start the 2013 season with 3,000 season-ticket holders, "a jump of 500 over this season." The season-ticket base for '11 was "about 1,000." Augustoviz noted one "hurdle for the Lynx is finding a jersey sponsor." For some WNBA teams, "such a sponsorship is worth $1 million" annually. Wright said that the Lynx and companies they have met with "have been unable to agree on terms, but he is patient" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/14).

SPEAKING OUT: The AP's Jon Krawczynski noted that with Lynx F Seimone Augustus' "adopted home state of Minnesota considering a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage," she is "now becoming a vocal proponent of equal rights for gays." Augustus said, "I felt like it was the perfect time for me, being on a platform where I can make a change with my voice and my situation." The Lynx are "looking to become the league's first repeat champions in 10 years." Augustus also is "fresh off a gold medal at the London Olympics, so she's hoping to take advantage of her increased national profile to help influence the vote." Augustus and girlfriend LaTaya Varner "plan to be married in May" (AP, 10/15).
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