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They wouldn't be the Chicago Heifers

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jan 12, 2005 5:36PM

2005_01_sports_wnba_logo.gifAccording to reports, the WNBA may be expanding to Chicago. The women's pro basketball league is negotiating with a private ownership group to bring a team to Chicago in time for the 2006 season. Currently, most teams are owned by the league and run by the NBA teams in their markets.

The league previously looked into entering Chicago under its typical arrangement, but passed when the Bulls didn't express much interest in sponsoring a team. In 2001 they agreed to test the market by taking $100 deposits, setting a goal of 7,500 applicants. Fewer than 1,000 deposits were received.

This time around, the team would have no affiliation with the Bulls. They won't even be allowed to use the Bulls' stadium, the United Center. Bulls VP of Marketing Steve Schanwald said the United Center "is not in the running to host a WNBA franchise." It seems that the likeliest venue will be the UIC Pavilion.

Not being affiliated with the Bulls means the new team will have more leway in regards to team name, colors, logo, etc. The NBA-sponsored teams typically adopt the NBA team's colors, and have complementary names and/or logos -- for example, the Washington Wizards and Mystics, Phoenix Suns and Mercury. But would we have had a team called the Chicago Heifers? That probably wouldn't have been a very good idea. So what direction will the team go? Resurect the Chicago Condors name from the short-lived ABL? Or name it after one of Chicago's most famous women? How about the Chicago Oprahs? Any other ideas?