|City||Charlotte North Carolina|
|Team Colors||Orange, Blue, Silver, Black, White|
|General Manager||Trudi Lacey|
|Conference Titles||1 (2001)|
|Named For||Charlotte Hornets -> Sting|
The Charlotte Sting was a WNBA franchise based in Charlotte, North Carolina and it was one of the league's eight original teams. The team folded on January 3, 2007.
Formerly the sister organization of the Charlotte Hornets, it became the sister team to the Charlotte Bobcats. Robert L. Johnson, founder of BET, purchased the team in January 2003, shortly after he was announced as the principal owner of an NBA expansion franchise that was later named the Charlotte Bobcats. Johnson changed the Sting team colors from the Hornets' teal and purple to correspond with the Bobcats' blue and orange in 2004. The Sting moved into the Bobcats' new home, Charlotte Bobcats Arena, in 2006. It was speculated that they might get a new name, but a newly released mascot following the same Sting theme made that speculation unlikely.
In addition to being one of the first WNBA franchises, the Charlotte Sting have also been one of the most successful. In their first three seasons of existence, they made the playoffs each year. In 1999, with the folding of the ABL, the Sting added former ABL guard Dawn Staley to an already impressive roster that featured Vicky Bullett and Andrea Stinson.
After a disappointing season in 2000 in which they failed to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, they made one of the most unexpected comebacks in professional sports history during the 2001 season as they rebounded from a 1-10 starting to make the playoffs with a win-loss record of 18-14. They capped off the 2001 season with an appearance in the WNBA Finals, where they lost to the Los Angeles Sparks.
After another playoff appearance in 2002, the team was bought by Charlotte Bobcats owner Robert L. Johnson in 2003. The 2003 season saw yet another playoff appearance for the venerable Sting. However, in 2004, the team made several key roster additions to its established group of veterans. After trading Kelly Miller to the Indiana Fever in exchange for the 3rd overall pick in the WNBA Draft, the Sting drafted Stanford University standout Nicole Powell. The Sting made four picks overall - including the second round pick of Penn State standout Kelly Mazzante.
While they did not make the playoffs in the 2004 season, the Sting continued to build for the future - trading with the Sacramento Monarchs for Tangela Smith and a second-round draft pick in the 2006 draft in a deal that saw Nicole Powell traded to Sacramento. Having won the first pick in the 2005 WNBA Draft, the Sting selected Minnesota Golden Gophers player Janel McCarville. The team missed the playoffs for a second straight season in 2005 and finished the regular season with league's worst record. The season was notable as they traded Sting veteran Dawn Staley to the Houston Comets and named Charlotte basketball icon Muggsy Bogues as their new head coach late in the season. The season also saw the team play its last game in the Charlotte Coliseum, the team's home arena since 1997.
It was rumored that the Sting would move to Kansas City and play in the Sprint Center, which is due to open in the Fall of 2007. Citing low attendance in Charlotte, despite a new arena, the team may have had a better life in Kansas City.
On December 13, 2006, Bobcats Sports and Entertainment turned ownership of the team over to the league, which handled the negotiations.
On January 3, 2007, the Bobcats announced that the fundraising effort by a group seeking to move the team to Kansas City had failed, the team would fold immediately, and the players would be sent to the other teams in the league via a dispersal draft.