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Atlanta awarded a WNBA Franchise


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Report: WNBA awards Atlanta WNBA franchise for '08 season

Associated Press

ATLANTA -- The WNBA will announce Wednesday that it has awarded a franchise to Atlanta, a person familiar with the deal said Tuesday.

Atlanta real estate executive Ron Terwilliger will be the sole owner of the team, which will begin play in 2008, according to the person familiar with the deal, who requested anonymity because the new franchise hasn't been officially announced yet.

Atlanta City Council president Lisa Borders, one of the leaders of the committee which organized the effort, is expected to attend Wednesday's news conference along with Terwilliger.

Borders and WNBA president Donna Orender did not immediately return messages on Tuesday.

The WNBA's Charlotte franchise was disbanded following the 2006 season, leaving the league without a team in the Southeast.

Orender also had expansion talks with groups in the San Francisco area, Kansas City, Albuquerque, N.M., Colorado, Philadelphia and Atlantic City.

Borders has said she was not concerned that Atlanta's NBA team has ranked at or near the bottom of the league's attendance totals in recent seasons.

"We have a significant talent pool with the SEC and ACC, which are very strong conferences for men's and women's basketball," Borders said in May. "We would have this type of opportunity for women to leave college and go on and play in the Southeast in the WNBA."

Atlanta lost its last women's professional team nine years ago. The Atlanta Glory was a member of the American Basketball League, which folded on Dec. 28, 1998.

Seven WNBA teams had a drop in attendance in 2006 when the average was just under 7,500, nearly 3,400 below the 10,869 the league averaged in 1998.

The Atlanta WNBA team is expected to play in Philips Arena, also home to the Hawks and the NHL Atlanta Thrashers. It isn't expected to announce a coach on Wednesday.

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I'd like to know why Philadelphia keeps getting passed over for a WNBA team. Not that it'd draw any better than any of the other teams, but I'd like to know why having a team here isn't as appealing as Orlando, Utah, Cleveland, Charlotte, Miami, or Portland.

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I think the only reason Atlanta got it is because the WNBA wants a team in the South. Charlotte, Miami, and Orlando failed. All they have left as far as NBA markets is Atlanta. I rather a team in Tennessee like they did in Connecticut, cause you will seats at the Phillips Arena.

I wonder what they will name the team....Why not Atlanta Doves lol

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I have to admit that Atlanta came as a shock to me. I surely would think Knoxville/Tennessee would be a much better option. Maybe their though is that Atlanta is close enough to Tennessee to possibly draw from them, while also drawing from a different market.

Over/Under on the WNBA in the ATL...3 years; what do you think?

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I have to admit that Atlanta came as a shock to me. I surely would think Knoxville/Tennessee would be a much better option. Maybe their though is that Atlanta is close enough to Tennessee to possibly draw from them, while also drawing from a different market.

Over/Under on the WNBA in the ATL...3 years; what do you think?

I'll take the under. I really don't get having a team in Atlanta at this time. I think somewhere in Tennesssee would be a great addition because of all the rich women's basketball history. But whatever, I watch like a quater of a Sky game last year and needless to say, it helped me fall asleep.

She-hawks FTL

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I have to admit that Atlanta came as a shock to me. I surely would think Knoxville/Tennessee would be a much better option. Maybe their though is that Atlanta is close enough to Tennessee to possibly draw from them, while also drawing from a different market.

Over/Under on the WNBA in the ATL...3 years; what do you think?

I'll take the under. I really don't get having a team in Atlanta at this time. I think somewhere in Tennesssee would be a great addition because of all the rich women's basketball history. But whatever, I watch like a quater of a Sky game last year and needless to say, it helped me fall asleep.

She-hawks FTL

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I have to admit that Atlanta came as a shock to me. I surely would think Knoxville/Tennessee would be a much better option. Maybe their though is that Atlanta is close enough to Tennessee to possibly draw from them, while also drawing from a different market.

Over/Under on the WNBA in the ATL...3 years; what do you think?

I'll take the under. I really don't get having a team in Atlanta at this time. I think somewhere in Tennesssee would be a great addition because of all the rich women's basketball history. But whatever, I watch like a quater of a Sky game last year and needless to say, it helped me fall asleep.

She-hawks FTL

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I have to admit that Atlanta came as a shock to me. I surely would think Knoxville/Tennessee would be a much better option. Maybe their though is that Atlanta is close enough to Tennessee to possibly draw from them, while also drawing from a different market.

Over/Under on the WNBA in the ATL...3 years; what do you think?

Make it 3.5 and I'll take the under. It's a bit of a surprise considering Orlando, Miami, and Charlotte didn't last in the southeast. But if smaller markets can try and make it work, why not Atlanta?

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