MINNEAPOLIS Walk into the Target Center for any Minnesota Lynx game, and it's not hard to see this is an NBA arena.
The upper bowl gives it away. So do the color scheme and the amenities, the locker rooms that are harder to find, up a small staircase from the main tunnel. But really, it's masked well. This is the Timberwolves' home for the majority of the year, but when the Lynx claim it each summer, they make it their own.
Now walk into the Target Center and pretend you don't know there's an NBA team in town. Walk in, and look at the fans, many in their own homemade, customized shirts. Check out the ads on the Jumbotron, for things like low-calorie popcorn, and the designated children's play areas. There's no doubt this operation is catering to its own audience.
That recognition that a WNBA team can't just step into an NBA footprint has become a hallmark of the league in recent years. Owners have come to realize that catering to a WNBA audience is a distinct process and that tw...