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Phoenix's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Phoenix, Arizona | 12NEWS.com

Local poet helps Mercury to impressive attendance at home-opener

His goal was to help the Mercury reach a sellout crowd by not only purchasing but filling the entire 7,000 seat upper level at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

PHOENIX — Christopher Owens, a local artist and activist witnessed months of hard work paying off during the Phoenix Mercury’s home opener on Friday.

His goal was to help the Mercury reach a sellout crowd by not only purchasing but filling the entire 7,000 seat upper level at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

“We worked out a deal, I was able to purchase the entire upper level and sell community tickets for no more than five dollars a piece.”

His goal was to help the Mercury reach a sellout crowd by not only purchasing but filling the entire 7,000 seat upper level at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Owens was able to sell about 5,000 of those tickets which included 54 girls basketball teams that were sponsored, providing the opportunity for 2,700 young girls to attend the game.

“That’s a victory to me,” said Owens. “We did more than people expected. This is more inspiration to do even more next time.”

Owens played a part in more than 14,000 fans attending Friday’s home opener, the Mercury’s biggest regular season attendance in nearly a decade.

“I think it’s dope,” said Mercury star center Brittney Griner. “We love the support, especially it’s coming for a male at that. That’s recognizing us and our sport and what we’re doing, showing us respect. I love that, we need more people doing that.”

“To have Chris willing to purchase all those tickets, and to give back to the community, in particular girls basketball teams but all any girl, is amazing,” said head coach Sandy Brondello.

It was a successful night with a Mercury win to top it all off, but Owens is hoping the impact will be felt for many years to come.

“We’re not going to see the results of this until years down the road when a young girl who came to this game is possibly playing for the Mercury,” said Owens. “That’s what this is all about.”