The WNBA will add teams in Indianapolis, Miami, Seattle and Portland, Ore., for the 2000 season, if the franchises meet certain criteria by Oct. 15, WNBA President Val Ackerman announced yesterday.
Ackerman said each team must secure deposits for 5,500 season tickets and meet other conditions, including staffing and promotional requirements and agreements to broadcast a specific number of games on local television and radio.
Indiana and Miami will be added to the Eastern Conference, which includes Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, New York, Orlando and Washington. Portland and Seattle will play in the Western Conference with Houston, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Phoenix, Sacramento and Utah.
The four-team expansion was part of the first collective bargaining agreement reached between the WNBA and its players union in April. The WNBA added teams in Minnesota and Orlando for the 32-game 1999 season, which begins Thursday.
"We did not plan to expand this quickly, but frankly the success that the league has endured in the first couple of seasons, coupled with the very strong interest that has been expressed to us around the league by NBA owners who don't currently have a WNBA team, convinced us that the time is right to create new teams," said Ackerman, whose league had an average attendance of 10,869 last season.