8 January 2008
No Storm in Oklahoma
The WNBA's Seattle Storm has been sold and will not be relocating, to Oklahoma City or anywhere else:
A local ownership group has bought the WNBA franchise from Clay Bennett and his Oklahoma City-based group, a source with knowledge of the negotiations told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Monday night.
League president Donna Orender will be in Seattle on Tuesday for an 11 a.m. news conference, the Storm announced Monday.
Neither Orender nor Storm chief operating officer Karen Bryant could be reached for comment Monday, but the source said the new ownership group includes at least one woman.
Dan Mahoney, spokesman for the organization, would only confirm Monday night that the announcement scheduled Tuesday was not related to the Storm's current search for a new head coach.
I guess I'm pleased with this, not for any personal lack of interest in the WNBA myself, but for the simple fact that numbered among my circle of online friends are some serious Storm fans in the Seattle area, and I figure they'll be delighted at the news.
And running down the blogroll, I find that I figure correctly:
We'd all miss the team, the environment, the sense of community we felt going to the games.
Now we don't have to miss it. I never thought I'd say that, but thank you, Clay Bennett. Thank you for having the sense to see that the Storm belongs in Seattle.
This is, I think, the first time anyone in Seattle has ever accused Clay Bennett of having any sense.
Update, 2 pm: The AP fills in the blanks:
A group of Seattle women, led by former Seattle Deputy Mayor Anne Levinson, is buying the WNBA Seattle Storm from the SuperSonics for $10 million. Two Microsoft Corp. executives and an entrepreneur round out the purchase group named Tuesday.
The group, calling itself Force 10 Hoops, has until the end of February to close the sale and would need approval of the WNBA board of governors for the standalone franchise.
Levinson, who led the negotiations, said the group was doing it for Storm fans and the community.
The others in Force 10 Hoops are Ginny Gilder, who owns an investment business, is president of a family philanthropy and won a silver medal at the L.A. Olympics; Lisa Brummel, senior vice president of human resources at Microsoft and a Yale softball player; and Dawn Trudeau, who heads Microsoft's database division.
Best of luck to the new owners.Posted at 11:34 AM to Net Proceeds