Sports Outside the Beltway

Bobcats Drop Ownership of WNBA Franchise

The Charlotte Bobcats today have become the first NBA franchise to drop its sponsorship of a WNBA team.

The Charlotte Bobcats said Wednesday they have stopped operating the WNBA’s Charlotte Sting and turned over control to the NBA-owned women’s basketball league, which is in negotiations to sell the franchise. “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,” Bobcats Sports and Entertainment President Fred Whitfield said in a statement.

The Sting, an original WNBA franchise, reached the league’s championship series only once in their 10 seasons in Charlotte and have suffered from declining attendance in recent seasons.

Now, granted, Charlotte hasn’t been a great NBA town, let alone a great WNBA town. The Hornets are in New Orleans now, after all. And this is a state with several big time college basketball teams: UNC, Duke, NC State, and Wake Forest.

Still, it doesn’t bode well for the WNBA when its own league drops a team. At some point, isn’t it time to acknowledge that there is rather little fan interest in women’s professional basketball?

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