Charlotte Sting to leave Bobcats Sports & Entertainment
CHARLOTTE, NC AND NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2006 -- Bobcats Sports & Entertainment President and COO Fred Whitfield and WNBA President Donna Orender announced today that the Bobcats organization will no longer operate the Charlotte Sting, effective immediately. The WNBA is in active discussions with potential owners to purchase the franchise.
"The WNBA is grateful to the Bobcats organization, to the city of Charlotte and all the fans that supported the Sting for helping build not only the WNBA but the game of women's basketball," said Orender. "At the same time, we anticipate finalizing a deal that will result in new ownership for the franchise."
"We have greatly enjoyed our experience with the Sting, especially the relationship with our players and fans," added Whitfield. "As we have changed our management structure, we have made the decision to focus all of our resources and efforts on the operation of the Charlotte Bobcats. We continue to believe the WNBA has a bright future and this was a very difficult decision for us as an organization."
In 2006, the WNBA concluded its historic tenth season with an action-packed WNBA Finals and a playoff run that featured significant increases in attendance and television viewership. The Finals, which aired live on ESPN2, saw the Detroit Shock top the Sacramento Monarchs in the first WNBA Finals ever to go to a fifth and deciding game.
Average attendance for the 2006 Finals was up +28% compared to a year ago while average attendance for the playoffs overall increased by +16%. The historic Game 5 featured a sellout crowd of 19,671 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, the second largest crowd in WNBA Finals history. These increases followed closely on the heels of a strong second half of the regular season in which attendance throughout the league rose nearly 12% after the All-Star break.
As the preeminent women's sports league, the WNBA, which features 14 teams and a comprehensive national TV package, including games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, is the destination for the best women's basketball players in the world. For more information, visit wnba.com.
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