Thursday, July 23, 2009
The group of investors seeking to put the WNBA in Tulsa has worked out a deal with the BOK Center, the arena where a Tulsa WNBA team would hypothetically play.
One factor that helped ease Bolton's concern was the WNBA's season, which runs from late May through mid-September. Bolton said major concert tours often play outdoor shows in summer and, "traditionally for arenas, that is our slowest time of year" for them.
The BOK Center pays labor and utility costs when it hosts events. Bolton said a WNBA team would need an average attendance of 5,000 fans per game for the arena to cover its costs on 17 WNBA home dates.
One of the reasons that arenas generally like the WNBA is that it helps keep the staff paid. Indeed, this was one of the WNBA's selling points during the "dual ownership" era that ended in 2002. NBA teams knew that they could get ticket sales even during the summer months.
The Tulsa World appears to be behind the effort. In cities where the local sports reporters and jock radio seems rather indifferent to the success of the WNBA, it's quite odd to see the print media on board so quickly. Coverage has generally been positive in Tulsa.