It has long been common knowledge that professional women’s basketball players do not make a fraction of what their male counterparts do. Yet, it has become such an accepted notion in society that we do not bat an eyelash.
If I had to take a guess, I would be willing to bet that not many knew that the Phoenix Mercury reached the Western Conference semi-finals last year.
It really is a shame, because they employ two of the most polarizing athletes in the game today, in both Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner. Taurasi, the legendary, sweet-shooting guard that brought prominence to the University of Connecticut during her college days, and Griner, the openly gay, six feet eight inches of domination that throws home dunks and was on display while at the University of Baylor for her conflicting sexual preferences in accordance with the university’s policies.
Also just a shot in the dark, but there cannot be many that knew the Mercury’s season opener was taking place in less than two weeks from now. On May 9, they will travel to Minnesota to take on the Lynx and open the 2014 campaign.
As you head over to PhoenixMercury.com, the first thing that pops up is a banner, prompting a fan to buy tickets to see the team play. Normally, this would be a marketing tactic from a franchise looking to have you overpay for tickets in the nosebleeds, but in the Mercury’s case, it has the sense of desperation.
Quite simply, not enough fans attended games. Things are cyclical for the Mercury, or any WNBA franchise. In order to one day be able to swing a television deal, they will need to find a way to put people in the seats to come watch a game.
For sure, it is not because the U.S. Airways Center is not a worthy venue. And the talent on the court is immense.
So, what is it that keeps Phoenix sports fans away from the Mercury?