Augustoviz: Why not an WNBA all-star game at Target Center?
- Blog Post by: Roman Augustoviz
- September 28, 2012 - 8:31 AM
For a league that is still trying to build attendance and interest, the WNBA does some strange things.
Like putting blinders on when deciding where to put its all-star game. There have been 10 played, and eight have been on or near the East Coast. What gives?
How about an all-star game at Target Center one year, now that the Lynx have become relevant?
In 2011, the Lynx had four players named to the all-star team and won their first WNBA title. This year they had the best record in the league for the second year in a row, their attendance is near the top of the league and they had three players on the Olympic team this year.
Those are pretty good credentials.
But when the site of the 2013 all-star game was announced, it was back at the Mohegan Sun Arena, home of the Eastern Conference champion Connecticut Sun. For a third time.
Said league prez Laurel Richie, "The Connecticut Sun and the Mohegan tribe have been outstanding hosts and [it's] where one of the WNBA's most dedicated fan bases has made previous all-star weekends incredibly memorable. We are looking forward to showcasing the extraordinary talent of the best women's basketball players in the world in a renowned hotbed for the sport."
Umm, the Sun had 5,520 fans for its playoff opener against New York on Thursday night. The Lynx will draw double that number when they play Seattle on Friday night at Target Center.
So how about an all-star game in Minneapolis, home of a team favored to win its second WNBA title this year?
Here is the breakdown of where the al-star game has been played:
Eastern Conference sites
twice at Mohegan Sun Area: 2005 and '09 and coming again in '13
three at Madison Square Garden, New York: '99, 2003, '06
twice in Washington: MCI Center in 2002 and Verizon Center in '07
once at TD Waterhouse Centre, Orlando, Fla., 2001
Western Conference sites
once at American West Arena, Phoenix: 2000
once at AT&T Center, San Antonio: 2011
Four of the present Western Conference teams have never hosted the all-star game. Someone should look at decision-making like that. Hard to believe those teams would not want the all-star game in their WNBA arenas.
© 2013 Star Tribune