The Indiana Fever just endured its worst season since joining the WNBA in 2000. On Aug. 14, it finished the season on an 18-game losing streak, posting a record of 5-31.
The Fever won the WNBA title 10 years ago, but the team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2016. It also hopes to see a major turnaround in attendance. Due to ongoing renovations at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, the team hosted home games in three arenas last season, and its average home crowd fell to about 1,800 fans. That’s roughly a quarter of what it drew in the mid-2010s.
In 2019, Allison Barber was named president and chief operating officer of the Fever, which already was in rebuild mode. Since then, the team has won roughly a quarter of its games. Barber has an impressive resume that includes significant communications and community relations positions at the American Red Cross, White House and Department of Defense. Prior to joining the Fever, she was chancellor of Western Governors University Indiana.
In this week’s edition of the IBJ Podcast, host Mason King asks Barber why progress on the court has been so slow in coming. And Barber shares her take on the 2022 season, the franchise’s new rebuild strategy, her top priorities in the off-season and the challenges of leading an organization mired in a rough transition.
You can also listen to these recent episodes:
IBJ Podcast: How do you solve a problem like Monument Circle?
Looking for another podcast to try? Check out IBJ’s The Freedom Forum with Angela B. Freeman, a monthly discussion about diversity and inclusion in central Indiana’s business community.