The Los Angeles Sparks have made a surprise run to the Western Conference Finals of the WNBA behind retiring star Lisa Leslie — and their reward is getting kicked out of their home.
The Sparks will host a game on Wednesday — but they will do so at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion. That’s because Brittney Spears will be performing at Staples for a sold out show. Oh, and about that second home game for the Sparks on Saturday — Staples is booked then too for the Vladimir Klitschko and Chris Arreola WBC title fight.
The Sparks are not alone. The Atlanta Dream had to move their playoff game last Friday night from the Philips Arena out to the Atlanta suburbs and the Gwinnett Arena. The reason? Sesame Street Live was in town and had the arena booked.
Maybe the WNBA needs to adopt as their theme song Aretha Franklin signing “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”
It shows you where the WNBA stands in the money-making world of big-time arenas. The same thing happened to the NBA this year — Denver’s Pepsi Center was already booked with a WWE Raw event the night a Nuggets/Lakers playoff game was scheduled. After Vince" McMahon milked the publicity for a few days, the WWE caved and moved their event.
Do you thing Sesame Street or boxing would get in the way of a Lakers game at Staples? Not a chance. Not even Britney would. First, Staples is careful not to book events on the dates of potential NBA playoff games because chances are the Lakers will be around. And a Lakers game is big money.
A WNBA game? Not so much money, even a playoff game. That is why events that will sell more tickets are booked and win the turf battle. This is America — the dollar always wins.
So the Sparks are sent packing to Westwood — an arena with unbeatable history but not near the modern amenities of Staples. No respect, I tell ya, no respect.