Our Voice: Will the community support the Fever or do we lose another franchise?

We're not sure what the average lifespan is for a sports franchise in the Tri-Cities. Some have lasted much longer than others.

But the Fever Indoor Football League franchise seems to have reached its awkward teen years.

Everyone loves a new baby. When the team was born in 2005, there was an excitement. You probably know people who used to have season tickets. We do.

Then the child gets a little older and the novelty wears off. Attendance now is down to an average of less than 3,000.

And although older children don't need the same level of care as an infant, teens are not self-sufficient. In fact, maybe that's the time they need the most attention.

It doesn't surprise us that Fever owner Teri Carr still is investing 50 to 60 hours a week in her team.

And, considering the experience of most parents with teens, it's not surprising to hear that she is tired and sometimes gets discouraged.

However, we are saddened to hear that she is considering shutting down the team.

It's not our place to tell private business owners what to do with their time and money. This is a decision Carr will have to make.

But we can encourage the community to give her the feedback she is looking for before she makes that decision.

This season's average attendance was 2,789. The team needs 4,200 fans consistently to break even.

Carr is wondering if there's another 1,000-plus fans out there. We're wondering why every game isn't a sellout.

We have to think that team support isn't tied to the win/loss column.

For example, the Americans have had many successful (and not so successful) seasons, and they just celebrated their silver anniversary.

The fans just keep coming.

We don't understand why the Fever hasn't enjoyed that same level of support.

Indoor football is fun to watch. It's fast paced. The perfect word to describe it is "intimate."

The temperature is neither too hot nor too cold and it's appropriate for families.

Don't get us wrong. There are diehard Fever fans and loyal sponsors.

But in a community our size, we think it should be easier to come up with 4,000 people for every game.

Carr is soliciting input from the community. Here's ours. We hate the idea of another lost opportunity.

We would like to see the Fever in the community for a long time -- and certainly for at least one more season.

To share your input with Carr, call the Fever office at 509-222-2215, or send her an email at teri@tricitiesfever.com.