Orlando event draws over 20 thousand
All-Star Summer Jam Sets Record
Orlando, FL, July 17, 2001 -- WNBA Summer Jam, the league's ultimate interactive basketball experience, drew a record crowd of 20,720 on Sunday, July 15 and Monday, July 16 leading up to the 2001 WNBA All-Star Game in Orlando.
Attendance at this year's Summer Jam was almost triple attendance prior to the 2000 All-Star Game.
"The Orlando community completely embraced the WNBA this week," said Val Ackerman, WNBA President. "We enjoyed being in this city to celebrate our third annual All-Star Game and we were very happy to give the fans in this city an opportunity to meet and interact with the biggest stars of this league."
WNBA All-Star Summer Jam featured more than 75,000 square feet of basketball activities, clinics, live music and performances that appeal to fans of all ages. It also gave fans the opportunity to meet the top women basketball players in the world and their coaches as they came to enjoy the event.
Throughout the two days of Summer Jam, fans lined up to get autographs from WNBA stars at the Hershey's autograph stage or photographs with their favorite players at the Sears Activity Center. Fans also enjoyed live musical performances at Yahoo! Sports Rhythm n' Rims and got to rub elbows with celebrities like Gregory Hines and Anne Hathaway, both of whom were reading to young children at the WNBA Read to Achieve presented by American Express area. The center of all activity at Summer Jam was Center Court where various young fans got to be a part of the action during WNBA Be Active presented by Nike fitness clinics and Jr. WNBA/Jr. NBA skills drills.
The WNBA tipped-off its fifth season on May 28, Memorial Day. According to a recent ESPN Sports Poll, fan interest in the WNBA now ranks fourth overall among professional sports leagues in the U.S. In addition to being the longest running women's basketball league in the U.S., the WNBA was also the most successful league launch in sports history. During the 2000 season, a record 2.5 million fans attended WNBA games. In 2001, the WNBA's extensive national television schedule has expanded to reach audiences on ESPN, ESPN2, NBC and Lifetime and the WNBA's combined local, national and international television coverage will reach nearly 60 million viewers in 167 countries and 23 different languages. For more information on the WNBA, visit www.wnba.com.