An extended talk on an array of WNBA topics.
Host Howard Megdal was joined by Cathy Engelbert by phone this week, and nothing was off the table. The WNBA commissioner, now in her first official month on the job after taking the helm on July 17, is in the midst of her tour of all 12 league markets.
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Accordingly, she just saw what the New York Liberty experience was like at Barclays Center on Sunday, after previously attending a game at Westchester County Center.
So what does she think the future of the franchise’s home should be? Engelbert stressed not only how fans take in WNBA games, but what the players do as well.
“There’s a new ownership team and they’re taking a look at everything in the business, including arena,” Engelbert said. “There’s no doubt that Barclay’s is a great environment, a great fan base and you do want to expand. If you’re looking to expand the fan base and you have a team in New York City, you know, obviously you would want to play in a more sizable arena. So obviously, the leadership team of the Liberty is looking at that and quite frankly, I’m looking at it as part of my embarking on my tour around the fan experience. And quite frankly, even the player experience, touches on where they play, what the fan base would like.”
Engelbert provided previously unheard insights about what expansion could look like for the league, the way the new agreement between the players, league and USA Basketball affects the ongoing CBA talks, and even her best player comp among current WNBA players. (Quite a year for you, Sami Whitcomb!)
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