Article: ‘Joyful’ Sky players feeling like pros in new digs

Great article from Patricia Babcock-McGraw at the Daily Herald…‘Joyful’ Sky players feeling like pros in new digs

Lots of interesting information. From the article…

“I love this arena,” beamed Sky veteran Jia Perkins, who has been with the franchise since Day One in 2006. “Our locker room is actually big enough for everyone. There’s more space, bigger showers, things like that.

“And the arena is very nice. We’re going to have fun. It’s just going to be exciting to play in a professional arena.”

Jia’s statement implies that the Sky’s locker room at the Pavillion was not big enough for everyone. I can’t imagine what the visitor’s locker room looked like!

The article also mentions that opening night (May 22nd) is close to being a lower-bowl sellout! If its true that close to 7000 will be in attendence on opening night, that’s truly amazing. I’m gonna take that statement with a grain of salt though because the Sky have claimed “near sellouts” in the past only to get there and the entire upper bowl of UIC be practically empty.

For the fans, Allstate offers these extra amenities…

• The creation of a Sky Kids Club: “It’s on the concourse, and we’ve never had one before because we never had any space,” Stender said. “It’s darling and it’s going to be so much fun.

“It’s got a giant inflatable hoop; there’s a bunch of games out there. Kids can make signs. There’s a beanbag toss. It’s going to be a great place for kids to hang out.

• New, improved Skyline Club: Now known as the “Courtside Club,” the café-type seating located under one of the baskets will now be open for food and beverages to all fans with courtside seats.

At Allstate, the vantage point is neat because the players walk right through the middle of the club on their way to and from the locker room.

• Say what? The audio system is so good at Allstate that fans actually will be able to understand the player speeches before games, as well as all of the other announcements during the game and timeouts.

• Bird’s-eye view: There are more courtside seats at Allstate Arena for great up-close looks at WNBA action.

I’m most excited about the improved sound system. For four years, I couldn’t understand a darn thing that was said during the game at the Pavillion.

Lastly…

The one thing the players will miss about the UIC Pavilion?

Its location in relation to them.

They live and practice in the city and, in years past, could walk to the Pavilion. Now they’ll have to negotiate Chicago traffic to get to games.

“They’re all worried about that already,” Stender said. “But Shameka (Christon) and Cathrine (Kraayeveld, the Sky’s new acquisitions from the New York Liberty) are like, ‘Hey, guys, this is no harder to get to than Madison Square Garden. It’s no big deal.’

Good to see the New Yorkers put it in perspective for them LoL :-). But seriously, I wonder if the Sky will ever completely move to the suburbs. Obviously, its more important to be near your practice facility than your arena, so if this were to ever happen the Sky would likely have to leave Attack Athletics. Not to mention, the players probably like living in the heart of the city.

Great article! …thank you Daily Herald!

~ Chicago Sky Hoops ~


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~ by audsquad on May 12, 2010.

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