That’s also thanks to the team’s admirably broad understanding of who can and should compose its fanbase. Many of the league’s best players of past and present are openly queer, important representation for a fanbase that has latched on since the league’s inception. “I’m obsessed with the Liberty,” Royer says in between dance moves at the pregame DJ booth. “I am a lesbian, I love how many lesbians attend the game. I feel like the WNBA is the ultimate lesbian showcase. I love to show up and show out for the queer icons.”
“Watching the Liberty has been such a great feminine space, queer space,” two fans named Molly and Caitlin explained. “It’s really indicative of the culture of the area. It’s so unique here, it’s such a great combination of different feelings and people. They really appreciate the fans here. They make it such a good time. It beats any male sport, honestly!” With October presenting the best month of the sports-watching calendar, this series between the best teams in women’s basketball demands your attention.
Even if you can’t make it to a game in-person, the vivacity is palpable through a television screen. “The energy is insane in there. It’s really amazing how excited people are,” Heather and Nick from Crown Heights offered. “I love the New York hecklers! They’re not nice, and it’s great.” Don’t just take it from some Brooklyn hipsters, though. The players feel the same way, including the two-time MVP who’s hosting the party.
“You’ve seen the support definitely continue to keep growing,” Stewart noted in her Game 3 press conference. “When I came into the league, it was at MSG. And then it was in Westchester and then it was here, Barclays. Obviously, fans are continuing to come to games. But [there’s] ones that are on the street talking about it and riding their bike and saying, ‘Good luck!’ We mean a lot to this city, and we’re embracing that. We want to continue to show we have fight left in us, and we’re not done.”