Houston Roundball Review: Women's Hoops

This is The Houston Roundball Review's (www.TheHRR.com) blog to discuss women's basketball. The HRR began in 1994 and has been media credentialed to cover college and pro hoops since 1997. Member of the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Some Thoughts on W and Comets

HOUSTON, TX -- Since the Comets are no more and I enjoy covering women's college hoops more than the W, I'm not sure how much more I'll write about the WNBA. However, check this out...

I still do not understand why the Comets had to disband. Let me explain...

In this My Fox Houston article, WNBA President Donna Orender is quoted saying: "All of our energies were focused on finding a viable ownership group in the city of Houston. As such, going really to the wire with a group that expressed an interest and desire to keep it there, at some point, you can't start in another city. We're really too late to be able to drive success in another market. We were really focused on driving success in the Houston market."

My answer to her statement is REALLY?!

When I wrote the post "Comets Sold?", that was based on three different sources telling me what they were told. Each source was connected with the Comets -- either directly or indirectly. I wrote the post because I was tired of the secrecy and I wanted to get a definitive answer regarding what was going on with the Comets. News about the Comets' disbanding was announced just a few days after my post.

This past Saturday, a few more basketball people I know told me they had heard the Comets were going to be sold. One source told me two different groups were interested in buying the team. Each source told me they were saddened and surprised at the news the Comets were disbanding. "If things were so bad, why didn't they ask for more help?" was one response I received from one source.

Now, chew on this tidbit, I was told Rice University was contacted by someone (I'm not sure by whom) associated with the Comets inquiring into the Comets' playing their games inside the new Tudor Fieldhouse in 2009. I received that info almost two weeks ago.

Therefore, if these sources are accurate, why did the WNBA choose to disband the Comets in 2009?

At the very least, the league could have run the team in 2009 with hopes more time would result in a more agreeable ownership situation for the league, the Comets' organization, and the Comets' fans.

I simply don't believe ALL of the options were explored before the WNBA's marquee franchise was allowed to fade away into the sunset.
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  • At Mon Dec 15, 09:43:00 AM CST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm guessing that the WNBA is in the same sort of financial situation as some of the other Professional Sports Leagues.

    With marginal profits and the lack of financing money, they likely didn't feel they could absorb the costs of operating the Comets for part or all of 2009 while trying to put a sale together. Compared to the number of fans (or lack there of) I saw in the seats for Chicago and some other franchises during the 2008 season, the Comets seemed to be putting a fair amount of fans in seats. I'd guess the profits during '08 weren't ahead of the operational costs for more than just the Comets.

    I guess I can look forward to my '09 season ticket purchase refunds early in January. But I'd rather be planning on a 2009 season in Houston rather than looking at road trip opportunities in San Antonio :-(

  • At Wed Dec 24, 03:07:00 PM CST, Anonymous Jerald Coleman said…

    It's like I told someone else Chris, if the WNBA really wanted to keep the Comets around, they would have continued to have control over the team until a new owner was found. This is the 5th team to disband and the league is not even 15 years old...What does that tell you???


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