Lynx' Continued On-Court Success, Support From Ownership Make Team Envy Of WNBA
The Minnesota Lynx are in their sixth WNBA Finals in seven years, and followers of the league acknowledge that an "engaged ownership and fan base" have made the team the "envy of the WNBA," according to Seth Berkman of the N.Y. TIMES. The Minneapolis-St. Paul market is "unrivaled in its embrace" of the WNBA. Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve: "We understand on the business side probably more than anything that we have a model franchise for others to follow.” The Lynx have "created an aura similar" to what coach Gregg Popovich and GM R.C. Buford have developed around the Spurs. Lynx G Seimone Augustus: "I was here when there weren’t many fans in the stands, but now I’ve seen us grow into something people want to be a part of -- a family, a culture that people appreciate.” Berkman notes the Lynx "have been beneficiaries of equitable support" from Owner Glen Taylor. In '12, the Lynx "began turning a profit and have been near the top of league in attendance since." This season, the Lynx had their "highest average attendance (10,407) since their inaugural year," a 12.3% increase from '16. Taylor also has "provided new practice homes" for both the Lynx and T'Wolves. When summer renovations at Target Center moved the Lynx to Williams Arena, Taylor paid a reported $1M to "install a new air conditioning system in the building." Augustus: "They treat us like queens around here. Anything that we need, anything that we want.” Berkman notes the Lynx "led the league this season in merchandise sales." For the WNBA Finals against the Sparks, TV ratings for Game 1 in Minnesota were "nearly three times" those in L.A., a market "about three times larger" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/3).