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Houston Comets Fold

2008 December 3
by Skip Sauer

A sad sign of the times, I think. Richard Sandomir reports:

Cynthia Cooper-Dyke cannot fathom it: the Houston Comets, the team she guided to the W.N.B.A.’s first four championships, were shuttered Tuesday by the league, which scheduled a dispersal draft of their players, except the free agents, for Monday.

…The league took control of the Comets over the summer from their underfinanced owner, Hilton Koch, a furniture retailer who acquired the team [ed: for $10 million] in early 2007.

But they could not strike a deal with the one interested local investor. Sandomir quotes WNBA president Donna Orender as saying “In another time, would there have been double the amount of interested investors? I don’t know.” That’s the big question: can the marketplace support the league once the economy gets healthy? From $10 million to zero in value for a speculative asset is not unheard of in the current environment, so there may be better days ahead for the WNBA.

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