Charlotte, N.C. The Charlotte Sting, an original WNBA franchise, is in the process of being sold and moved to a group in Kansas City, Mo., a source told the Charlotte Observer newspaper.
The Sting, owned by Bobcats Sports and Entertainment, which also owns the NBA Charlotte Bobcats, has had shaky attendance since its inception in 1997. A local group of investors, led by sports marketing executive Cindy Sisson-Hensley, tried this fall to buy the team for between $6 and $8 million, but wasn't able to raise enough money.
Sisson-Hensley's deadline to meet the team's asking price was Monday. She said the WNBA had told the team it needed to know where the team would be playing so it could begin planning for the 2007 season, which will begin in May.
Kansas City is building a new arena downtown, the Sprint Center, though it doesn't have a major-league tenant yet.
"We have talked about putting together a local ownership group for a WNBA team, but I don't know anymore than that," said Brenda Tinnen, general manager of Sprint Center, told the Observer.
The building is scheduled to open in October. The team could play in older facilities, such as Kemper Arena, or Municipal Auditorium, until then.