Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Bring back the Comets

Jenny Dial Creech would like to see one more professional sports team in Houston.

As [Tina] Thompson — the league’s first No. 1 overall draft pick — was inducted into the [Naismith Basketball] Hall of Fame, we were all reminded that the Comets set the bar for greatness in the WNBA.

“The Comets were the impact,” Thompson told ESPN earlier this year. “They made people stand up and watch. They made skeptics of the league and its ability to survive into believers. Houston set a tone. It created awareness and excitement, like a curiosity of, ‘What’s going on over there in that league? What is it that everybody’s talking about?’ Not just in the state of Texas, but also in other states and other cities, because they wanted to kind of know what the fuss was about.”

The Comets were widely supported, averaging more than 11,000 fans per game in their first five years. Cooper, Swoopes, Thompson and their teammates were stars.

Since 2008, a passionate group of Comets supporters has clamored for the return of their beloved team. It’s not that easy, of course.

There doesn’t seem to be a WNBA expansion plan. And though one team, the Liberty, is for sale, the hope in New York is that the new buyer will keep the franchise there.

But even though there isn’t a clear answer to get a team to Houston, the city should jump at any chance to get one.

We were season ticket holders for the Comets from 2001 through their last season. They may have averaged 11K per game in the first five seasons, but it definitely dwindled after that. (I can’t find season by season totals on the internet, so you’ll have to trust my memory on this.) I’d say part of that is that Houston fans can be fickle, and part of it is that the team just wasn’t as good after Cynthia Cooper retired. The team started out with a superstar trio (Cooper, Swoopes, Thompson), and never found another high-level player. There’s only so good that a basketball team can be with two stars and a bunch of mostly interchangeable spare parts. I don’t know what the WNBA’s plans are for expansion in the near to medium term, but if and when that becomes a thing, bringing a Houston franchise back to the league should be a priority. If you don’t remember the Comets or just want a refresher on their history and how damn good they were for those first four years, this Undefeated story from 2016 has you covered.

Related Posts:

3 Comments

  1. C.L. says:

    Bring back the Comets ? Houston women HAVE a professional soccer team in this town, full of National (who’ve won World Cup and Olympic trophies) and International Team players, but even though tens of thousands young girls play the sport competitively in the area, can’t seem to draw more than 3,500 to BBVA on game day. You can see a game for <$15/person. I can't imagine how much Fertita would charge you to see a WNBA team in the Toyota Center… or how you'd even draw a crowd to begin with.

    Full disclosure: Had season tickets for the Dash for years, and would rather watch them play than the Dynamo.

  2. Bill Shirley says:

    Then owner Les Alexander promised to continue owning and supporting the Comets as part of his bargaining to get what he wanted out of Toyota Center, then promptly dumped them.

    In the layer years the hopping amongst different arenas was part of the problem for me. Loved the Comets in the Summit.

  3. Andrew Lynch says:

    Dash are struggling to fill seats. I don’t see how WNBA is going to do much better.