Momentum is everything in basketball. It fuels team confidence, puts the opposing team on the back foot, and often contributes to game-deciding runs. Fans at basketball games are more than spectators. They have the ability to drive momentum. In fact, fans are often said to be the “sixth man” on the court. As any basketball player will tell you, having the whole crowd behind a team is both exhilarating and motivating. It’s no wonder that teams fight so hard to get home court advantage during the playoffs, since playing at home means having the fans’ backing. However, the fans’ support depends heavily on the crowd size. Professional women’s basketball has suffered in this department for several years. Sadly, the average number of people in attendance at WNBA games has been on a relatively constant decline since the creation of the league in 1997.
The 1998 Major League Baseball expansion added the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays (now Tampa Bay Rays) to the highest professional level of America’s pastime. More than twenty years later, MLB expansion remains a widely-discussed topic with many cities eager to join the 30-team league.