Well, there seems to be some momentum building for the Seattle Storm in Everett.
The reigning WNBA champions are without a home for the next two years because of the construction of a new arena at Seattle Center, and Everett’s Angel of the Winds Arena is serving as one of their temporary home courts this season. The Storm made their Everett debut Wednesday night in an 87-84 preseason loss to the Phoenix Mercury, and Seattle will play five home games at Angel of the Winds during the regular season.
Therefore, it seemed to be an appropriate time to take the temperature of the local sports fan base. This week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers about their excitement level about the Storm playing games in Everett. Here’s how you responded:
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) May 13, 2019
Put it all together and nearly half the responders — 48 percent — said they had a high level of excitement about the Storm coming to town. Thirty percent of the voters said they had a low level of excitement, while 22 percent chose the moderate option.
So what to make of these numbers?
My first observation is about the turnout. One way to gauge these type of polls is to see how many people even bother to vote — if a poll is heavily skewed positive, but there’s very low turnout, it may actually be an indication of disinterest. However, this poll received a typical amount of participation, and that was without the Storm Twitter account retweeting the poll or anything like that. So I don’t think there’s anything in the participation numbers to suggest the percentages shouldn’t be trusted.
My second observation is about the difference between the voting percentages in the blog poll and the Twitter poll, as the response was more positive on the blog (56 percent high excitement) than Twitter (38 percent high excitement). Much like the NHL playoffs poll from last week, my theory is that the extra step of having to click on a link means those who take the time to vote on the blog may be more predisposed to a positive response than those on Twitter — though the discrepancy was far less than it was in the NHL playoffs poll. But it’s possible the Twitter numbers may be a better representation of the population at large than the blog poll.
However one interprets the data, there seems to be some genuine enthusiasm for the Storm coming to Everett. I believe that was reinforced at Wednesday’s game. While it wasn’t a large crowd, the building wasn’t empty, either, and the fans who were there were fully engaged. This was for a preseason game in which none of Seattle’s three all-stars from last season — league MVP Breanna Stewart is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles, league legend Sue Bird was rested, Jewell Lloyd was attending a personal matter — played.
I’m told they’re expecting a sellout or close to it for the season opener on May 25 against Phoenix, when the Storm will be receiving their championship rings and unveiling their championship banner. Ticket sales for the games in Everett are apparently going well.
So perhaps the region is catching some Storm fever.