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Women's Hoops

The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

March 11, 2009 at 9:30 AM

Indiana Fever given one year of commitment from owner

Tully.jpgThe Storm’s sister expansion team, the Indiana Fever, is on rocky footing. Herb Simon, who owns the Pacers and WNBA team, told the Indianapolis Star that he can’t afford operating expenses at the teams’ Conseco Fieldhouse or the yearly financial losses.
The Fever has long lost money, according to Simon, and needs to increase their sponsorship and attendance to be retained. The Fever averaged a reported 7,702 fans last season — up from 7,227 in 2007. Simon is also looking into relocation, possibly Kansas City, which does support women’s basketball.
But if Simon sold the WNBA franchise, it would become the eighth independently owned team in the 13-team league. After running the Houston Comets for nearly a season, the WNBA folded that franchise last winter. Indiana entered the league the same season as Seattle, celebrating its 10th anniversary, too.
The Fever, which finished 17-17 in 2008 and lost to eventual champion Detroit in the opening round of the playoffs, appears primed to challenge for the title this summer. Indiana lured former Storm center Yolanda Griffith via free agency and re-signed point guard Tully Bevilaqua (pictured right by Getty Images). Stars Tamika Catchings and Katie Douglas are also back for another intriguing season under coach Lin Dunn.
Only this time around, the Fever is playing for their existence.

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