First Steps For New WNBA Team

The new WNBA franchise in Indianapolis announced Friday it has met a league mandate for ticket sales that will allow it to begin play next summer.

The WNBA awarded franchises to Miami, Seattle, Indianapolis and Portland, Ore., on June 7, and said each had to have deposits for 5,500 season tickets by Oct. 15.

The teams are scheduled to begin play next year when the league begins its fourth season, bringing the number of franchises to 16.

The Indiana Pacers, who owns the still unnamed team, said Indianapolis became the first to meet the league mandate when former U.S. Sen. Birch Bayh bought the 5,500th season ticket Friday.

Bayh, who wrote the legislation that helped provide equal opportunities for women to participate in sports, joins Pacers coach Larry Bird, David Letterman's mother, Dorothy Mengering, race driver Lyn St. James and Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres as celebrities who have purchased season tickets.

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