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Red Sox Nation!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tulsa opened it's new crown jewel of an arena in the BOK center in late 2008, and they are now building a new baseball park for their minor league team the Tulsa drillers.There are already the Talons(Afl2)Drillers(AA baseball)Oilers(CHL hockey)66er's(NBA D-league)and now it looks like the WNBA wil be holding a new's conference in Tulsa with in the next few week's to maybe announce the WNBA will be in Tulsa! What is your take on the city of Tulsa getting a WNBA team? A good thing,or a bad thing?:cheers:
 

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Its good for Tulsa. It might be tough drawing enough people though to watch. What is the population of metro Tulsa? 920,000 or so? I know a lot of other cities that have WNBA teams are struggling a little right now. For the first few years - the crowds might be OK - but after a few years, it might be tough to keep drawing 8,000 - 9,000 fans or more per night - which is what the team would likely need to average (at least)to try to stay financially in the black. I've wondered what the WNBA was thinking about doing ---- what they are thinking in terms of expanding the league. It is down several teams from what it was a few years ago.

Chicago has a team that has just been around for a few years now. I was reading an article about one of their games recently, and I think the announced attendance was only about 5,000. Of course Chicago has many, many other major sports teams - so its tough to compete against all of the other sports competition. Still - tickets are typically less than many other major league sports - and the WNBA gears a lot of its fan base around families - especially those with young girls. Of course it helps quite a bit to focus some of the marketing on the lesbian crowd. That "market" usually makes up a good chunk of the crowd at many WNBA games. (Do you think Tulsa has a very large lesbian population?) I know the Indiana Fever were getting concerned about their future this year because attendance had been dropping over the past few years. Fortunately the team is doing very well this year (11 - 2) and so the fans are coming back. They had a crowd of a little over 10,000 a few days ago (a win over Chicago) and had about 8,000 there last night for a win over Atlanta. They used to average around 9,000 fans per year in their early years - then the crowds dipped for a few years to more like around 7000 per game. This year things are going better. Hopefully they'll be able to get the average attendance back above 8000 with their league leading team. I'd rather see larger cities get WNBA teams - because I think they typically will be able to draw more fans from their larger population -- of course it doesn't always work that way. Maybe OKC and Tulsa could "share" a team, with each city hosting half of the team's home games. I don't know. It would probably raise Tulsa's profile a little bit -- to be mentioned as a city with a WNBA team. Like I said earlier -- I think it would be tough though to get enough fans to attend in a metro with less than a million people.
 

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Well there are a lot of markets that Tulsa can draw interest from, and there are two different tri-state areas that are a short drive from Tulsa. The OK-KS-MO area has Joplin, and the AR-MO-OK corner has NW Ark. OKC is also an hour and 15 minutes away, and there are millions of people that live in small towns between these points on a map. The entire region includes at least 5 million people, within 2 hours.. just good ole Mid-America.

As for lesbians, yes I am sure Tulsa can turn em out. Interesting observation there, by the way.
 

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Tulsa's sports scene is laughable.

The 66ers are nothing, you ask 9/10 people who they are and they have absolutely no clue what you're talking about, they play in a suburb with a population of 15,000 (although in a nice little convention center) that has problems coming up with the money to pay the 66ers because of some sort of wrong doing, I failed to keep up with the story.

The Oilers are a CHL team that average on a good night a couple thousand fans (if that) in a 18,000 seat arena. Everyone's been to at least one Oilers game in their life but most people only make it to one game a season about every 4 years I'd say. Nothing special.

The Drillers are probably our most prestigious farm team with one of the biggest stadiums in their AAA league, but thanks to city leaders and wanting to follow the OKC path, the Drillers are moving to a stadium with about 4,000-5,000 less seats in a part of the Tulsa metro (downtown) that most people (Bixby, Broken Arrow, Jenks) don't have time or jsut don't want to drive thirty minutes to downtown every night. But turnout is usually good when Quiktrip has free ticket night.

The Talons are always impressive and are probably our winningest team. But they play in the big fancy arena too and probably average a few thousand fans on a few good nights here and there, despite there winning record they still can't seem to sell out or even get over a good 10,000 fans in more than one or two times. Oh yea, the Talons are Tulsa's AF2 team.

It feels like I'm missing something... Anyway that is all based off the past few years of Channel 6 coverage I've seen, going to a few games every now and then, and just talking to people around the city.

A WNBA team would fail here and is something we don't need. WNBA is not in demand and has failed in bigger cities. Miami's failed I believe along with Charlotte's, Cleveland's, Houston's and Portland's. All with much significantly larger populations than Tulsa's 950,000 metro. And SRG I can honestly say that the region thing doesn't mean crap, maybe on television but when it comes to tickets and apparel, nobody from Arkansas, Missouri, or Kansas is gonna give a crap about a WNBA team in Tulsa. Sure support will be here and there but nothing significant. Nothing worth selling a team to Tulsa.
 

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BigDally, I think that a WNBA will command more regional draw..but I would never say that about minor leagues and farm teams, just to be clear. WNBA is such a specific niche crowd, it doesn't exist in very many cities, but it is elite for its niche.
 

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Sure, but I still don't think it would succeed in Tulsa even 5 years from now. I'm not even sure what the turn out is for Tulsa's women's games on average or how the public really feels about it. Give me the NHL over WNBA for the present.
 

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Yea I'm not saying the NHL will be a big hit here, it's just my preference. The MLS would be interesting, there's plenty of Soccer players and fans around Tulsa. I wouldn't care much for it personally but hey, whatever.

The investors (some of which are co owners of the Thunder) held their conference in Tulsa last Thursday or Friday, I wasn't home so I don't know exactly but I saw a recap of what went on. I think they met in the BOK Center if I'm not mistaken. But they addressed three main keys to bringing and having a successful WNBA franchise here.

1. Raise 1/3 Capital
2. Complete the BOK Lease
3. Corporate and fan support

Which the last one is a no brainer and comes with any sports franchise. That's all I know so far and like I said those were the three main points they addressed to the public.
 

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I say, good luck to Tulsa - but it will be difficult.

I can see people in Tulsa going to Oklahoma City to see the Thunder but I don't see many people in OKC going to Tulsa to see the WNBA. That is not a knock or anything, it's just my opinion.

But yeah, maybe OKC and Tulsa could share the team and have it affiliated with the Thunder. ?? Make it a 'state team' and it might work. Maybe if they can heavily promote the team and get some key stars and promote it as a lower cost major league alternative. ?? Maybe if Courtney Paris and other OU/OSU/TU/OCU girls can 'stay home' and play there - it might work.

I must be honest, I think it is a little weird that OKC investors are trying for the WNBA in Tulsa (you'd think they would do it in OKC or would have kept the Storm and moved them down - wouldn't that have been easier.....).

But oh well, I know Tulsa wants something and I know those investors want to capitalize on BOK - but unfortunately for Tulsa, OKC is making a big move and is making it very difficult for them. I just don't realistically see anything filling BOK other than concerts - maybe Tulsa should just focus on and capitalize on that - grab every national act touring concert. ....

But hey - if they can do it; good luck and congratulations to Tulsa. If successful, it might further raise the national awareness of Oklahoma.

Oh, the Drillers/Driller Stadium is AA baseball (not AAA). :)
 

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Didn't mean to put that, I don't know what I was thinking, thanks Hot Rod.

I bought my first piece of Thunder apparel today, a nice orange "Thunder Basketball" shirt. Haha.
 

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I say, good luck to Tulsa - but it will be difficult.

I can see people in Tulsa going to Oklahoma City to see the Thunder but I don't see many people in OKC going to Tulsa to see the WNBA. That is not a knock or anything, it's just my opinion.

But yeah, maybe OKC and Tulsa could share the team and have it affiliated with the Thunder. ?? Make it a 'state team' and it might work. Maybe if they can heavily promote the team and get some key stars and promote it as a lower cost major league alternative. ?? Maybe if Courtney Paris and other OU/OSU/TU/OCU girls can 'stay home' and play there - it might work.

I must be honest, I think it is a little weird that OKC investors are trying for the WNBA in Tulsa (you'd think they would do it in OKC or would have kept the Storm and moved them down - wouldn't that have been easier.....).

But oh well, I know Tulsa wants something and I know those investors want to capitalize on BOK - but unfortunately for Tulsa, OKC is making a big move and is making it very difficult for them. I just don't realistically see anything filling BOK other than concerts - maybe Tulsa should just focus on and capitalize on that - grab every national act touring concert. ....

But hey - if they can do it; good luck and congratulations to Tulsa. If successful, it might further raise the national awareness of Oklahoma.

Oh, the Drillers/Driller Stadium is AA baseball (not AAA). :)
I disagree with some of your points HotRod, but I agree with you in wishing Tulsa the best of luck on this. I just wanted to point out that I do see a Tulsa WNBA franchise getting a statewide following just because of the women's basketball (and women's sports in general) culture in Oklahoma, especially with Coach Sherry Coale.

Oh and BigDally, the investors behind Tulsa WNBA are from OKC, but they aren't related to the Thunder ownership team.
 

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I disagree with some of your points HotRod, but I agree with you in wishing Tulsa the best of luck on this. I just wanted to point out that I do see a Tulsa WNBA franchise getting a statewide following just because of the women's basketball (and women's sports in general) culture in Oklahoma, especially with Coach Sherry Coale.

Oh and BigDally, the investors behind Tulsa WNBA are from OKC, but they aren't related to the Thunder ownership team.
One of them is the co-owner I know of. I forgot his name but when they interviewed him it said "Thunder co-owner". So I'm guessing he's the only one affiliated with the Thunder and the rest are just OKC and Tulsa investors.

Here's a couple links also referring to the situation. Good to read for those interested in WNBA to Tulsa.

http://www.newson6.com/global/story.asp?s=10772395
http://www.newson6.com/global/story.asp?s=10774727

First one talks about the city and investors intent. The second is a brief story discussing whether people will show up or not. It also gives the attendance averages for TU and ORU Women's basketball.
 

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Well the Tulsa media outlets are wrong then because I'm pretty sure David Box and Bill Cameron are not part of the Thunder ownership team.

edit: I was wrong..didn't realize Bill Cameron was part of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I just seen on PTI that the Detroit Shock are moving to Tulsa,Oklahoma!!!!!congrats Tulsa!
 

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That's depressing for the WNBA. Going from a metro area of about 4.5 million to one with less than 1 million. That's even worse than the NBA move from Seattle to OKC. In the long term, its not going to work in Tulsa. Too little of a city. Unfortunately, with the way things are trending right now, I agree with Cashville that it isn't looking good for the long term continuation of the WNBA.
 

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And if this were to come to a vote I would vote NO and I'm sure well over 99% of the public would agree with me. Look, a lot of us aren't excited about this and I don't give a crap. It's going to FAIL in Tulsa. If you're moving from Detroit to Tulsa that's awful, no matter how depressing and crappy a city Detroit is. This is a big joke and I hope it doesn't come to fruition.

No one cares for the WNBA and if it has folded in other major markets it's not going to survive in Tulsa. No one cares about WNBA around here.

Just had to get that out.
 
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