Want to know where women’s sports is headed? The Buffalo News, yeah I’d never heard of the pub either, but they recently did an article on women’s professional sports over the past 5+ years. The article opens up with mention that the WNBA is celebrating its 9th season. For me the WNBA’s celebration is a marker for when the NBA helped put the ABL out of business. I was a major fan and season ticket holder of the San Jose Lasers. Sheri Sam, Jennifer Azzi, Kedra Holland-Corn. The fan appreciation events and awesome games – without the arrogance, brawls and juvenile fans. I had never been a basketball fan prior to the ABL. They brought the women’s Olympic team, and them some, into my life. Those who would like to reminisce can check out the San Jose Lasers Observer. Needless to say I was beyond disappointed when the league folded.
Then came the World Cup and the San Jose CyberRays. Women’s soccer was HOT! Again, I became a row 6, just off center line season ticket holder. An incredible opportunity to watch Olympic athletes like fellow SCU alum Brandi Chastain, the Brazilians Katia and Sisi... Every game was packed with incredibly talented, high-quality athletes who played like they really wanted to be there. Unfortunately, the WUSA wasn’t quite able to continue to fund the team.
Looking forward, Tonya Antonucci, CEO of the Women’s Soccer Initiative, Inc. is apparently heading up a relaunch effort. The plan is to have the WUSA back in action by 2006. I am among the many who hope that this time around, the business practice will match the success of the talented athletes who are waiting to get back on the field.