Strike 1: A lot of us are going through serious hoops withdrawal right now. The Denver Nuggets season ended way too soon.

What’s supposed to keep us interested? Sure, we can look forward to minute-by-minute updates from football practice starting sometime soon, and we can check in on the Colorado Rockies endless rebuilding project, but it’s not the same around here without June playoff basketball.

Something needs to fill that void, right? Which begs the question: Would Denver in general, and Nuggets Nation in particular, support a WNBA franchise playing at Ball Arena?

As all sports fans know, the women’s game is gaining in popularity at a rapid pace, led by WNBA rookie sensation Caitlin Clark. Love her or hate her, Clark has brought a new and brighter spotlight to the league. Revenues are up. That means growth – dare we say expansion – can’t be that far off.

So why not Denver?

Nine current NBA franchises also have a WNBA team playing under their umbrella in the summertime. That includes rival cities like Minneapolis, Phoenix and LA. There are just three WNBA franchises – Connecticut (close to Boston), Seattle and Las Vegas (future homes for NBA franchises) that don’t play in NBA cities. It’s easy to see the league expanding by a couple of teams in the near future, now that Clark has brought so many more eyeballs to the sport.

Could a WNBA team be successful in a mid-sized market that already has four major sports teams? Well, if Minneapolis can do it, shouldn’t Denver be able to?

It’s not like we aren’t into women’s basketball around here. The University of Colorado Women’s team has had back-to-back sensational seasons, including terrific fan support. Head coach JR Payne has a program built for sustainable success and the fans have responded.

Is there any reason those same fans wouldn’t support a professional team?

If you remember, there was a women’s pro basketball around here two decades ago, and they were successful on and off the court.

From 2004 – 2006 the Colorado Chill Women’s professional basketball team played out of what is now named Blu Arena in Loveland, winning the league championship twice while featuring future Basketball Hall of Famer Becky Hammon at point guard. When their league, the National Women’s Basketball League (NWBL) folded prior to the 2007 season, the Chill made a run at gaining WNBA membership, but were unsuccessful. Clearly having Hammon, the former Colorado State star, on the roster gained the Chill a fan following in NoCo, even back when there wasn’t the amount of national attention for the women’s game that exists now.

So given the strong support of Nuggets ownership, there’s no reason it couldn’t work.

Kroenke Sports could bring back the Colorado Chill, put them in Ball Arena, sell tickets and fill some summer time programming on their TV network to boot. Why not? Sure beats waiting breathlessly for an update on football practice.