By DAVID LEONHARDT*
Basketball is more fun to watch when a gym is closer to full than empty. High school games can feel electric with only a few hundred people in attendance. Pro games can feel depressing with thousands in the arena if there are more empty seats than full ones.
So I was excited when the Washington Mystics, my local W.N.B.A. team, recently moved to a new, smaller arena. Women’s basketball doesn’t draw as many fans as men’s basketball and can feel subdued in a cavernous N.B.A. arena. But the Mystics have a devoted, diverse group of fans — maybe the most racially diverse fan base I’ve ever seen — and moving to their new 4,200-seat arena in Southeast Washington was a great idea. Continue reading