Seattle Storm is the Highest Valued WNBA Franchise in League History

Seattle Storm is the Highest Valued WNBA Franchise in League History

Last updated on June 29th, 2024 at 06:29 pm

The popularity of women’s basketball is on the rise, especially at the college level. This growth, fueled partly by super rookies Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark, is a testament to the sport’s increasing appeal. However, it’s important to note that the Seattle Storm, according to co-owner Ginny Gilder, has played a significant role in this trajectory. The team’s journey to becoming the highest valued WNBA franchise in league history is a moment of pride not just for the team, but for all fans who have been part of this remarkable journey.

Arenas were full to 94% capacity in May, an increase of 17% from the previous year, and the WNBA saw its most outstanding opening month attendance in 26 years. According to bookie pay per head experts, the average number of people watching WNBA games on cable TV has increased from 462,000 last season to 1.32 million this season, nearly double that number.

Under Gilder’s leadership, the Storm ownership group has increased the team’s value and impact on the community. The recent victory against the Fever, witnessed by a crowd of 18,000, including notable figures like Sue Bird, Megan Rapinoe, and Damian Lillard, is a testament to the team’s growing influence and the community’s unwavering support.

Highest Valued WNBA Franchise

Seattle Storm is the Highest Valued WNBA Franchise in League HistoryIn 2006, businessman Clay Bennett bought the Storm and the NBA’s SuperSonics. Gilder, an Olympic silver medalist, was a Seattle resident and season ticket holder. After that, much to the fans’ disappointment, Bennett declared his intention to relocate the clubs to Oklahoma.

Fans, who were rightfully upset over losing their team, were determined that Gilder, Microsoft executives Dawn Trudeau and Lisa Brummel, and former judge Anne Levinson would do what it took to keep the Storm in the spotlight. They reportedly paid $350 million for the men’s squad and $10 million for the women’s, but Bennett and his colleagues only kept the women’s team.

That changed when Gilder and her co-owners set out to ensure that their business was lucrative in addition to winning games on the court. The Storm was valued at $151 million in 2023, making them the most valuable WNBA club.

Notably, no WNBA team has visited the White House since 2016, President Obama’s last year in office, making the Storm the first women’s professional sports team to do so under the Biden administration.

The Seattle Storm unveiled a $64 million training facility this year, featuring indoor and outdoor courts, a locker room, players’ lounge, and a nutrition center. According to pay per head reviews and news sites, the Storm is the second WNBA franchise to have such a facility.

Gilder’s Success in Sports

In 1974, Gilder began her professional athletic career after seeing a crew of rowers on a river vacation. Two of her fellow students were rowing for the Olympics when she enrolled in Yale a year later and became a member of the school’s rowing program.

Women lacked access to locker rooms, showers, and a changing area, unlike the men, who had sufficient amenities near the boathouse.

In 1976, a group of rowers staged a “strip in” at the university’s director of physical education’s office, organized by Gilder and fellow discontented students. The goal was to make the university comply with Title IX, a law that forbids sex-based discrimination in federally funded education programs. Gilder decided to invest in the Storm because of her background as a sportswoman.

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