The WNBA released a statement about the Tulsa Shock on Thursday confirming what had been broken as news on Monday.
WNBA owners unanimously approved the relocation of the Tulsa Shock to the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. The team will finish the current season in Tulsa before beginning play in Arlington in 2016. – WNBA release
If you are surprised about this move – and I was – maybe none of us should be.
It has been said many times – follow the money trail. This move is about just that. I’m one of the least cynical people around, and even I realize that.
Can the Shock franchise make more money in the Dallas/FortWorth/Arlington area? Well, yes.
Should a business owner want to have his/her company in a position to make more money? Of course.
As long as that is what is being portrayed to everyone involved – season ticket holders, Tulsa citizens, and fans of the team and players who support them being in Oklahoma – then so be it.
Just don’t act as if it isn’t.
The WNBA is extremely grateful to the city of Tulsa and the team’s loyal fans. The support they have shown for the Shock and women’s professional basketball over the past six seasons has been tremendous,” said WNBA President Laurel J. Richie. “We look forward to having our first team based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. – WNBA release
Change the wording of that quote and put on a couple of addendum’s and I’ll buy it. “The WNBA is moderately grateful to the city of Tulsa and the team’s loyal fans, but we’re ready to jump ship quickly … We look forward to having our first team based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area because we believe we can make 10-20 times the money we can in Oklahoma.”
That’s a little closer.
And you know, in DFW, there are bigger venues to put the team for all those fans to come see the team play.
Wait, what? In this big market, they’re going to be playing where?
The fourth largest metropolitan area in the U.S., Dallas-Fort Worth represents a well-established professional sports market with one of the top five national media markets.
The Shock will play at College Park Center on the University of Texas at Arlington campus, subject to approval by the University of Texas System’s Board of Regents. Additional information about the team will be forthcoming. – WNBA release
So not only do the Shock have to compete with all the other summer sports of major and minor leagues already established in the area, the team will play in a gym it shares with the UTA athletic department on a college campus and which seats 7,000.
For perspective, the BOK Center has a seating capacity of more than 19,000. I guess a better statement about perspective is that it won’t take as much to make the arena look full.
Look, I’ve been to the UTA campus many times. It’s very nice and I enjoy myself every time I’m there. But the WNBA?
While it has been mentioned that part of the reasoning is the bigger pool of investors to work with in the Metroplex. Legitimate. It’s about the money. And again, that’s fine.
Really – it’s fine! This is the land of opportunity. Make the most of it!
But Management, make sure you say that in every press conference from here on out. Don’t talk about how sad you are to leave, talk about how happy you’ll be with potentially more money.
I personally don’t begrudge you that. I wish you well. Just be honest with us.