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Posts Tagged ‘Madison Square Garden’

St. John’s v. Texas A&M.

UConn v. Cal.

As I have for the past zillion years, I’m going to put in an order for tickets (or at least start harassing my fabulous connection at the Garden) mid-August. We have, in the past, gotten FABULOUS seats, thankyouverymuch.

If you are interesting in being part of the horde, all you need to do is drop me an email at: womenshoopsblog @ gmail.com

Include:
Your full name
Mailing Address
Number of tickets you’d like.

I’ll then start a tally and, when tix are finally available, I’ll send out one final “You sure? You want more? email.

Then I’ll purchase the whole kit-and-kaboodle, pick’em up at the Garden and mail’em out to you. When they arrive, send me a check.

The other option is we meet at the Garden and you had over cold, hard cash.

Let’s see if we can break 60 this year!

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From Brett LoGiurato at the Star-Ledger:  Liberty work to build fan base at Prudential Center to Madison Square Garden levels

Getting settled, and attracting the crowd numbers they were used to playing in front of at the Garden, have been challenges in the first month of the Liberty’s season.

The Liberty have struggled to recoup much of the fan base that consistently made Madison Square Garden one of the highest-attended WNBA arenas, with paid attendance averages of 11,926 fans per game in their first 14 years there. The Liberty, who continue a four-game homestand when they host Connecticut tonight at 7 p.m., have averaged 8,255 fans this season at the Prudential Center.

A skeptical WHB note: I’ll wait for Queenie’s report before I believe that average.

From Odeen Domingo at the Arizona Republic: New WNBA President Laurel Richie hopes to take league to new heights

Q: What is being emphasized more in growing the fan base? Is it converting the skeptics or starting from the ground up with young kids?

A: I think it is a great experience for fans to grow up and experience the league and be a WNBA fan from the age of 7 and be one until 80. But I think there are still adult audiences that are untapped. And some of them fall into the category of “unaware, unengaged” and some of them fall into the “skeptics that need to be converted.” I use myself as an example. I spent 30 years going to Cleveland Cavaliers games. So I consider myself a basketball fan. In New York, the Liberty team exists there. I support a lot of women’s causes. I have gone at least once to every single sporting event in New York City that you can go to. But I never went to a Liberty game. So I spend a lot of time thinking about – that shouldn’t be and how did that happen and how can it not happen.

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of the move to Newark: Two Liberty players in minor accident

Liberty assistant coaches Monique Ambers and Lady Grooms were also involved in a separate traffic accident en route to the Newark arena.

“I’m concerned,” head coach John Whisenant said. “I think we’ve got the greatest organization in the world behind us. So I think if there’s a solution to it, we’ll find it. We obviously didn’t do it properly today, but I think there’s got to be a bus or a van as a group that we can (take to) get here alright.”

The Liberty are slated to play three seasons at the Prudential Center while Madison Square Garden undergoes a series of renovations. Their training facility is in White Plains, N.Y., which makes for a very long commute.

Accidents not withstanding, the Lib continued their 0-for streak at home, losing the rematch with the Dream+Angel.

Speaking of 0-for (yes, the Shock lost again. And congrats, Katie.) I don’t know if there’s a “FireNolan.com” yet, but you’ve got to wonder if it’s imminent. From Mechelle (what a perfect photo on the espn front page, no?): Future bleak for Tulsa Shock

This quote from Tulsa coach Nolan Richardson, given to the Tulsa World’s Kelly Hines last week, cracked me up with its repetitive inanity — while at the same time made me feel sorry for everybody involved with the Shock, including Richardson.

“I think it’s important that someone steps up,” he said. “Not only someone steps up, but some of the other players that we were counting on not as much have an opportunity to step up. So you’ve got your bench having to step up and players on the floor stepping up.”

OK, so I’m going to step up here and say it’s not just that the Shock aren’t a good team. They appear to have no hope of being a good team. They have little hope of even being a mediocre team.

Speaking of Mechelle, did you notice she moved her personal blog? It’s here now. Visit, and you can read “Why Ford, Nolan, and McCarville” are taking the summer off. Oh, and this piece: Sometimes, we find we’re closer than we think, is sneak-up-on-you-moving.

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gender neutral.

From Mark Viera at the New York Times: It’s Not St. John’s Night in 2 Losses at Garden

In a corridor inside Madison Square Garden, members of the Syracuse men’s basketball team greeted the University of Connecticut women’s players. The Orange stopped to hug and shake hands with the Huskies and to obtain their autographs.

“We’re fans,” Syracuse point guard Scoop Jardine said. “We’re just happy we got to meet them.”

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Jim Massie at the Columbus Dispatch writes: Buckeyes look to change their ways – UConn loss put OSU’s effort in bad light

The unraveling started early in the game and didn’t stop until the Huskies had run the Buckeyes’ string around the court 81 times.

“I never thought we would lose by 30,” Lavender said. “But we just weren’t at their level. I really don’t think it takes losses for people to learn lessons, but I think our losses have taught us we need to raise our level.”

Practices, she said, have been better.

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Cal’s Tierra Rogers received the Maggie Dixon Courage Award

The award is presented annually to a recipient who, like Maggie Dixon, exemplifies the true meaning of the word courage, compassion and leadership.

Just weeks into her freshman season, Rogers collapsed during a routine pre-season practice and lay unconscious before the athletic trainers were able to revive her after she stopped breathing. Rogers was later diagnosed with Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia (ARVD), a rare genetic disease that can cause dangerously abnormal heart rhythms. She quickly realized she wouldn’t be able to lace up her shoes anymore and her collegiate basketball career was over before she had played her first game.

Though her condition keeps her from playing the game, Rogers, now a sophomore, will not let it keep her from loving the game. She continues to be a part of Cal’s basketball team where she is a tri-captain and attends all of Cal’s home games and practices. Rogers’ voice can be heard from the bench, in the locker room, and during practice, guiding and leading her teammates from a distance.

She can also be heard speaking of the importance of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) and knowing how to perform CPR. These things saved Rogers life, and she is hopeful they can continue to save others.

There is, of course, the backstory to all of this: the murder of Tierra’s father. You may recall Tom Friend’s article, “Honor Thy Father.”

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aka Nate Parham in Seattle: UConn’s Winning Streak: Gant, Romar Agree 88 Wins Is 88 Wins

You can count Los Angeles native, former UCLA men’s basketball assistant coach, and current Washington Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar among those who once considered UCLA’s streak of 88 consecutive wins from 1971-1974 unbreakable.

“I never thought anyone, men or women, would come close to tying that record,” said Romar, when asked about the #1 Connecticut Huskies women’s basketball team beating the #10 Ohio State Buckeyes 80-51 yesterday in the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden to tie UCLA’s record at 88 games. “So it’s pretty phenomenal that something like that happens.”

And it seems everyone has some kind of opinion about what UConn has accomplished, though not everyone has responded quite as positively as Romar.

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there was a ton written leading up to the UConn/Ohio St. match up:

UConn’s Moore, Dixon remember bitter taste of losing, Post
Game day: Ohio State vs UConn, Post
UCLA’s run of 88 once believed to be untouchable, Post
A closer look at UCLA men’s 88 game streak, Post
UConn, UCLA: Tale of 2 dynasties, Courant

Forget comparisons; each streak is a thing of beauty, Jeff Jacobs, Courant
UConn women, UCLA men will stand together, no matter the fruit, Courant
History is Buin for Huskies, Register
Streak by the numbers, Register
Bulldogs upset No. 15 Florida State, Register

Huskies are on the cusp of history, Day
It’s the week of the streak for UConn women, Day
In the final stretch toward the record, Day
Geno deadpans his way to history, Day

UConn Huskies heading for history, Bulletin
Most viewers won’t be able to see record-tying UConn game, Bulletin
On the biggest stage, UConn women shoot for 88 straight, Republican
UConn, UCLA streaks are similar in several ways, Republican
UConn poised to make history, NBCConnecticut
Dolson makes strides at No. 1 UConn, Times Record

OSU women don’t want to be victim No. 88, Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State women’s basketball team faces huge test against powerful Connecticut, Cleveland Plain Dealer
UConn’s streak a Wooden delight, Long Beach Press Telegram
Connecticut goes for UCLA’s basketball milestone, LA Times
UConn’s Geno Auriemma: From Philly to basketball immortality, Philly Inquirer

Foster’s Buckeyes challenge Auriemma’s Huskies, Mel Greenberg, Philly Inquirer
UConn women deserve same respect as UCLA men, Fan House
Just win, baby! UConn cast changes, results don’t, SI
UConn do it, Geno – stay where you are
, NY Post
No smoke and mirrors needed for UConn women’s streak, Jackson (MS) Sun

UConn takes aim at long-held UCLA streak, St. Louis Dispatch
UConn streaks stirs emotions on both sides, Bradenton Herald
Before UConn, there was Wayland, NY Times
When Baptists were queens of…basketball, Baptists Today
Connecticut women are 1 win shy of matching UCLA, Fox News

UConn streak doesn’t suffer by comparison, Fox News
If this were men…, Swish Appeal
UConn women’s streak stands on its own, Daily Press

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Casino signs innovative deal with MSG for exclusivity in final 5 minutes

There was an interesting piece of advertising news today as Foxwoods Casinos announced a sponsorship deal with Madison Square Garden that will result in exclusive advertising on television broadcasts of the New York Knicks, the NHL’s Rangers and New Jersey Devils and the WNBA’s Liberty.

The multiyear agreement covers games on the MSG and MSG Plus cable sports networks, said Tara Gregson, Foxwoods’ vice president of brand strategy.

Surveys have found that the last five minutes of games have the highest ratings, with rating  jumps of up to 25 percent.

Wait, does that mean the Lib will be back on MSG? Even if they’re in Newark? Just thinking about those production costs makes my bank account cringe.

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From Clay at SlamOnline: Loss of Liberty – Why we all need to root for the Liberty.

So the worst-case scenario is that the Liberty plays a dull, if marginally effective, style, in their new home in front of small crowds that lack the passion of the ones at Madison Square Garden. The team loses money, Dolan loses patience and conceivably New York no longer has a WNBA team.

Of course, the best-case scenario is that Whisenant wins a bunch of games, Pondexter scores a bunch of points, old fans make the trek to New Jersey, new fans flock to the games, and the Liberty emerge from their three-year exile stronger than when they left.

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Yet another Liberty season subscriber came up to me post-game and asked me about where the Lib were going for the next three years. (Newark!)

The lack of information coming from the Liberty management is giving me a serious case of deja vu. So I went back into the Helen archives to pull a letter I wrote six years ago.

August 10, 2004

Ms. Blazejowski,

As a seven-year subscriber to the New York Liberty, I’d like to express my profound disappointment in how we, as season ticket holders, were treated during the process of moving from Madison Square Garden to Radio City Music Hall.

Instead of making the selection process transparent, you presented RCMH as a fait accompli. Instead of explaining and educating subscribers on the hows and wherefores of the decision making, you left the door open for plenty of disgruntled “They don’t know what they’re doing” and “Why on earth did they choose RCMH!” talk. And there has been PLENTY of that.

Instead of acknowledging the challenges of the move, you sent out a cheery “How much fun is this going to be!” letter. You missed an opportunity to be clear with subscribers on what the seating/sightline issues were going to be. You missed a chance to get us on your side.

Instead of offering subscribers flexibility in their subscription plans, you insisted that the purchase of all the games was a hard and fast policy. No chance to purchase only the MSG seats. No chance to put your season subscription on hold. You missed a chance to make us feel like you understood our concerns.

When some subscribers vociferously and stubbornly complained, and that “hard and fast policy” changed, you did not then go back to those season subscribers who had been told, “It’s all or nothing,” and say, “We’ve modified our policy.” You missed a chance to make us feel like the best interests of ALL your subscribers at heart, not just the ones who harassed you incessantly.

Instead of inviting subscribers to an open house at RCMH to see the various seating options and challenges and get their opinions, you created some obscure seating selection process. Was it by price? Was it by longevity? Was it by throwing darts? We would love to know how we, as seven-year subscribers to club seats 12 rows behind the visitor bench ended up in Row L, forty rows back. And how can you be so unaware of section dynamics as to separate them so profoundly? You missed an opportunity to make us feel like respected fans and that you understood the camaraderie that develops between groups of season subscribers.

Instead of being proactive in the RCMH seating process and making it clear that changes were possible, you left it up to subscribers to gripe amongst themselves and discover that a phone call to the subscription office produced miracles… such as seats only 20 rows away from the court. You missed an opportunity to diffuse discontent and prove you were service oriented.

Hey, we love our New York Liberty. We truly and profoundly do. But this has made us wonder why on earth we bother being season subscribers. You claim we’re the greatest fans but, compared to our friends in many other WNBA arenas, we sure aren’t treated as such.

With the possibility of MSG renovations forcing another eviction, is it any wonder that we’re concerned on how we’ll be treated in the not too distant future?

Sigh. Sometimes deja vu sucks.

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