Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson live here. So do Breanna Stewart, Jewell Loyd and a long list of Storm greats who contributed to the franchise’s four WNBA championships.
“We finally have a home and a place where we can showcase what this team is all about,” said general manager Talisa Rhea while standing in the middle of the newly furbished Seattle Storm Champions Center. “I’m really excited to get our players in here, especially the former players who made this happen as well as the current players.”
The one-story building at the Pacific Science Center that’s located on 2nd Ave. North and John St. is adorned with giant murals and vintage photographs celebrating the 22-year history of the WNBA franchise. There’s also a sound bite of the play-by-play call when the Storm clinched their first title in 2004.
Several former players donated souvenirs, including Bird’s infamous face mask, Jackson’s autographed shoe and an assortment of jerseys that serve as must-see artifacts along with the team’s four WNBA championship trophies and Commissioner’s Cup trophy.
The Storm Champions Center pays tribute to the team’s long run of success and serves as the venue for team to make a state-of-the-art appeal to old fans and potential new patrons before the Storm makes its long-awaited debut next year Climate Pledge Arena.
“The demand from our fans necessitates that we match their desire with an increased fan engagement and support,” said Kyle Waters, vice president of ticket sales and services during a media-guided tour Thursday. “It’s early, but we’re very pleased with what we’re seeing and hearing. … Now that we’re back in Seattle, there’s just so much excitement from our fans. And of course, there’s a lot of excitement about Climate Pledge Arena.”
In 2019, the Storm played at Alaska Airlines Arena and Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. The WNBA held the 2020 season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida due to the coronavirus pandemic.
And in 2021, the Storm played all of their home games in Everett.
“For obvious reasons, some of our fans have been disengaged from us the past three years,” Waters said, noting the team gave season-ticket holders the option to defer in 2021 in favor of 2022. “A lot of our fans appreciate that and that’s why so many of our ticket-holders have stuck with us.”
The Storm had about 2,000 season-ticket holders during their last year at KeyArena in 2018.
Since sales for the 2022 season began Nov. 14, the team has surpassed 3,000 season-ticket deposits.
“Our CFOs gave us a goal and said it would be great if you could get to 2,000 or 3,000, but we’re already there,” Waters said. “So now I’m kind of adjusting and I’m shooting for 4,000. I don’t know if we’ll get there, but we’ve already exceeded the goal.”
Capacity at Climate Pledge Arena will be 13,500 and this season the WNBA has expanded its schedule to 36 games.