Monday, September 14, 2009
Tulsa World reports on a poll by SoonerPoll.com regarding interest in a WNBA franchise in Tulsa by Tulsans. SoonerPoll.com is about as accurate as the Gallop Poll, for better or for worse.
These are the responses by actual citizens of Tulsa to a couple of questions about a WNBA team:
Do you favor or oppose having a WNBA team located in Tulsa?
Strongly favor: 34 percent
Somewhat favor: 36 percent
Neutral/No Opinion: 17 percent
Somewhat oppose: 6 percent
Strongly oppose: 7 percent
If a women's professional basketball (team) came to Tulsa, would you say you would:
Frequently attend games: 5 percent
Attend some games: 45 percent
Not attend any games: 49 percent
Don't know/Refused: 1 percent
* interest was equal for both males and females
* Democrats were more favorable to a team than Republicans were
* Those under 45 were twice as likely to go to a game as those over 65
Why do I think these numbers are interesting? First, they're about as accurate as any political poll, which means that they're fairly accurate. No info on sample size is given, but it's probably representative.
Second: it gives us an idea of what real people think of the WNBA, not self-proclaimed haters who like to make claims that everyone dislikes the WNBA because they and their two friends don't like it. Money was spent to talk to actual living, breathing people.
The interesting numbers to me were the favor/disfavor numbers: At least 87 percent of the population of Tulsa is at least neutral to the idea of a WNBA team (70 percent are in favor to one degree or another). If you believe that those who only "somewhat oppose" the W can be dissuaded, then that leaves 93 percent of Tulsa is at least open to a sales pitch for a Tulsa WNBA team.
Furthemore, you have 50 percent of the population stating that they would attend "some" games. (Only five percent though stated that they would be frequently attending.) We can knock out about 36 percent of the population - those under 20 and those over 70 - and assuming a base of 400,000, that would be 12,800 people who would be attending games "frequently".
I think any WNBA franchise would want numbers like that. Of course, the proof is in the pudding - how many would really come to games? People can say that they'll show up during a poll, but how many of those really do show up? Even so, if you wanted to prop up the argument that Tulsa deserves a WNBA team, this might be a good support until someone can chop it down.