"Opportunity is never lost it is just found by someone else."
Well this has been a tough week for me as a Sparks fan!
Not only is my favorite team, probably on the way to the Bay Area to be re-branded as the Warriors, but my friends, (you know them the Troglodytes), have spared no expense to let me know what a loser I am for even following the WNBA.
" Hey Al highest attendance in the league and your team can't pay its bills?, why do the women even bother?"
"Hey Al after the WNBA folds I hear they are bringing back women's roller derby wanna get tickets?"
" Hey Al I hear the Sparks need new ownership. My wife gave me ten dollars for lunch money today, wanna go halves?"
You really must forgive them though,
for most of them, they are the first generation of their families to be walking upright and using utensils.
If any of them ever got an intelligent thought in their head, I am sure it would die of loneliness!
They all have GPS in their cars... So they can find their way home, because the bread crumbs weren't working!
There now I feel bettter...
Regardless of my ongoing quest to enlighten the cave dwellers, that is not the issue of this post.
The issue is this......
Los Angeles is still critical to the long term health of the WNBA!
Yes I know a lot of people may not see the importance of L.A. in the WNBA, they may even be the type of people that cheer every time L.A. fails. (Jealous) . As a WNBA fan, I can tell those people that they couldn't be more wrong.
I know my fellow writer Albert Lee, will accuse me of being a Sparks Homer, but I assure you this is not about the Sparks, but rather about the need for the WNBA to stay in the L.A. market.
First for this post to work there must be a few givens that are accepted as fact.....
1) The Sparks are moving to San Francisco..... wow this is harder than I thought.
2) The WNBA needs to have a presence in the L.A. market . PERIOD!
Relocate the Shock, Dream, Storm or an expansion team, it doesn't matter the League has to have a presence in the # 2 market in the country.
As always, I am going to say what I'm going to say, so please hear me out before you take my car keys.
Number One- L.A. is your attendance leader!
There is no arguing that, without L.A. fans going through the turnstiles averaging ten thousand fans per night, the WNBA's" Three to See" campaign and other marketing attempts to increase attendance would have been a failure.
L.A. having a team allows the league time to work through the TULSA mistake.
L.A. having a team allows Seattle to have it's two best players out this year due to injury, yet the league still manages a one percent increase in attendance.
L.A. having a team allows the league to show attendance success, while Atlanta continues to show attendance failure.
Take out L.A. this past season, and the Attendance numbers are depressing...
Number Two- L.A. (and New York) give the league leverage when T.V. Contracts are up for renewal
Cable companies pay the teams( or the league) for the rights to broadcast your team's games. They then turn around and sell advertising time or raise your cable bill to make a profit during the broadcast of said games. So Ten million cable/ satellite subscribers in L.A. alone, not counting orange county or the surrounding counties. Which by the way are considered part of the L.A. Market.
It is a given that TV revenue is essential to any major league sports team. The more money you can squeeze out of cable or satellite channels for the exclusive rights to broadcast your teams games, is only going to strengthen your teams financial position, as well as the leagues financial position for national broadcasts.
Whether you want to hear it or not, the small markets on their own, will never be able to command the TV dollars that the large markets do. L.A. in negotiations for revenue and air time will always have a greater bargaining position than Tulsa. Just the way it is.
Number Three- L.A. is where the action is
Yet once the Sparks leave there will be no WNBA presence.
Really President Ritchie, really Mr. Silver, you think you can, abandon the L.A. market and still have the same professional stature for your league as the other sports.
It is not my intent to insult other people in other cities that all love America and Basketball like I do.
I realize a lot of people don't like L.A. for a lot of different reasons.
Even some people who live here.
This is not about who are better citizens, or who are better sports fans.
This is about the long term health of the WNBA and my personal desire to have my daughter grow up in a world where women's professional basketball is relevant, and not a cocktail party joke, about how America used to have a Women's professional basketball league before it came to its senses.
Let me know what you think..