Lynx success has turned team into profitable venture

Rebekkah Brunson, Tamika Catchings
Minnesota Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson (32) fights for a rebound against Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings (24) in the first half of Game 1 of the WNBA basketball Finals Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, in Minneapolis.
Stacy Bengs/AP

As the Minnesota Lynx prepare for their third straight appearance in the WNBA finals, Glen Taylor finds himself in rare position: owning a WNBA team that's profitable.

It took a decade to get there, the billionaire says, and it feels good.

"When I went into the business I knew we weren't going to make money. That was a decision we had made," said Taylor, who also owns the Minnesota Timberwolves. "This has just been a wonderful opportunity now that we have the team and are also profitable."

The Lynx host the Atlanta Dream on Sunday to start off the best-of-five series after sweeping all four of their playoff games. The Lynx lost to the Indiana Fever in last year's finals.

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve has said losing the championship last year might have made her team breathe a little easier, and Taylor said he agrees.

"I wish we had won the championship last year, but I think she's talking about reality, how it is a lot of time that the pressure is off," he said. "This year, I think they just set their goals and they concentrated on this year and were probably more focused and have played really well all year long."

Taylor attributed financial success of the Lynx to winning, which gave attendance a boost. "Just getting there and playing well has brought in a lot larger attendance in the last couple of years," he said. "Getting to the playoffs only adds to that."

The Lynx had their first season in 1999, and Taylor said the team lost "quite a bit" of money in the first decade. Then the team started avoiding injury and winning more games. "Everybody came to one game and they just found out how exciting it could be," he said.

MPR News reporter Rupa Shenoy contributed to this report.

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