Saturday December 9, 2023

T-Wolves Move Could Raise Questions for WNBA

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks
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Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore reached an agreement to purchase the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx from Glen Taylor in a mid-May deal worth $1.5 billion.

Now, they’re reportedly interested in moving the Timberwolves to Seattle, the previous home of the Supersonics-turned-Oklahoma City Thunder, and where Rodriguez began his MLB career in 1994.

Minority owner Meyer Orbach sued Taylor for $300 million late last month over a potential move — breaking the team’s Target Center lease ending in 2035 alone would cost $50 million. Taylor has said the teams would stay in Minnesota, but legal language in the existing agreement doesn’t guarantee it

If the Timberwolves do end up moving, what happens to the Lynx?

No city currently has two WNBA teams, and it may not be feasible. The league has lost $10 million a year since its inception, though viewership jumped 74% this season.

  • The Lynx are more successful on the court than the Timberwolves, winning four titles in the past decade while the Timberwolves haven’t won any. 
  • The Seattle Storm has stars Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart on their roster. The team’s won four championships total, including two in the last five years.

Rodriguez has made no indication that the Lynx are a priority — he failed to mention the team in his opening press conference — whereas Taylor treated the teams with equal regard, pushing for a “co-branded” Target Center, according to Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve.

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