From L to R: Camille Little, Ann Strother, Carla Thomas, Lisa Borders, Dalila Eshe, Katie Feenstra, Ivory Latta, Kristin HaynieAtlantans got a close up look at the players of the city’s newest professional sports team Saturday during the 37th Annual Inman Park Spring Festival and Tour of Homes.
Held during the last full weekend in April each year, the Inman Park Festival is widely regarded one of as Atlanta’s most spirited and eclectic. This year’s Inman Park Festival featured the city’s quirkiest and most colorful Parade, led by the Inman Park Butterfly followed by floats, bands, art cars, drill teams, clowns, jugglers, and many more.
The appearance of the Atlanta Dream was the highlight of the day for many festival goers and Atlanta Dream fans alike.
Led by City Council President Lisa M. Borders, the players were greeted by thousands Saturday during the neighborhood parade where they handed out schedules for the upcoming inaugural season that begins May 3rd with a preseason game against the Los Angeles Sparks at Philips Arena, and their first home game May 23rd at Philips against the defending Eastern Conference Champions, the Detroit Shock.
“We are thrilled to be home to the WNBA’s newest team,” said Borders. “The Atlanta Dream’s roster is filled with some of the most formidable and talented players in the entire league. We are looking forward to an exciting season in Atlanta. There’s no doubt that basketball will now be played at a new level.”
The Inman Park community was extremely welcoming and energetic, said Atlanta Dream Executive Vice President, Danielle Donehew. “It was a perfect experience to introduce our players to such a prestigious community. We look forward to seeing them at our games, and we look forward to continuing to build relationships throughout the Atlanta community.”
The WNBA, a women's pro-basketball league launched by the NBA, began play in the summer of 1997. Three TV networks carried their games to 50 million viewers that season. By 1999, WNBA games were broadcast in 125 countries.
The league enjoyed one of its most successful seasons ever in 2007 with increased regular season attendance, a new postseason attendance record and Finals viewership on ESPN2 that was up 12 percent vs. 2006. Spectacular performances from the world's best women's basketball players highlighted the WNBA's 11th season.
The WNBA will feature 14 teams in 2008, with the Eastern and Western Conferences comprised of seven teams each. Atlanta will join the Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Detroit Shock, Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Washington Mystics in the Eastern Conference, while the Houston Comets, Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, Phoenix Mercury, Sacramento Monarchs, San Antonio Silver Stars and Seattle Storm will continue to comprise the Western Conference.
Tickets can be purchased by calling, 404.604.2626. More information may be found @ www.atlantadream.net.