Seven WNBA teams Show a Decline in Home Opener Attendance

Cheryl CowardContributor IJune 15, 2009

YPSILANTI, MI - OCTOBER 05:  Deanna Nolan #14 of the Detroit Shock brings the ball up court during the game against the San Antonio Silver Stars in Game Three of the WNBA Finals on October 5, 2008 at Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  The Shock won 76-60 and won the WNBA Championship.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Domenic Centofanti/Getty Images)

The first week of the 2009 WNBA season is over. Each team kicked off the season with home openers filled with fanfare. Attendance at first home games ranged from a low of 5,689 for the Chicago Sky to a high of 14,824 for the Sacramento Monarchs.

Attendance is a hot topic this year as teams deal with budget and roster cuts due to the recession. For the Indiana Fever, it is even more crucial as co-owner Mel Simon indicated in March that the team must double its corporate sponsorship and attendance to survive this year.

The home opener attendance was higher last year for Indiana at 10,533. This year it dropped to 9,234.

Six other teams had a drop in home opener attendance including Sacramento, Phoenix, Seattle, Indiana, Atlanta, Minnesota and Connecticut.

How did each team rank in home opener audience numbers? The numbers are below along with last year’s home opening numbers in parenthesis.

  1. Sacramento - 14,824 (16,225)
  2. Detroit - 13,915 (13,824)
  3. Phoenix - 13,582 (13,749)
  4. New York - 13,397 (10,460)
  5. Los Angeles - 13,154 (13,142)
  6. Washington - 11,759 (10,441)
  7. San Antonio - 10,572 (9,103)
  8. Seattle - 9,686 (12,079)
  9. Indiana - 9,234 (10,533)
  10. Atlanta - 8,709 (11,609)
  11. Minnesota - 8,708 (9,972)
  12. Connecticut - 7,191 (7,420)
  13. Chicago - 5,689 (4,188)

Numbers compiled from box scores at wnba.com