By DAVID MARTIN
Team USA is cruising toward a medal in women's basketball in Beijing. And if AEG President Tim Leiweke kept his promises, Lisa Leslie, Candace Parker and other stars of the WNBA would roll through the Sprint Center once the season resumes on August 28.
The failure of AEG, Sprint Center's part owner and programmer, to land an NBA or NHL tenant is well documented. What's received less attention is Leweike's big talk/no results in regards to women's hoops. In 2005, Leweike was quoted in The Kansas City Star as saying that progress was being made on bringing a WNBA franchise to KC in 2008.
But "progress" AEG-style looks like a dark arena most nights. In addition to not delivering the NBA or NHL as promised, AEG has whiffed at the WNBA. Though WNBA Commissioner Donna Orender attended the groundbreaking of the Sprint Center, Kansas City does not appear be on the league's radar. A WNBA team in Charlotte disbanded after the 2006 season. Atlanta received an expansion team in 2007.
Sprint Center spokeswoman Shani Tate Ross says it is her understanding that there has been "no substantive movement recently" in bringing the WNBA to Kansas City.
The next opportunity to watch team sports at the Sprint Center is a hockey game between the L.A. Kings and St. Louis Blues. Alas, it's only an exhibition.