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Sky fans say Finals victory is in their future thanks to electric home atmosphere

Fans on Friday said the atmosphere at Wintrust Arena will be enough to steer the team to a WNBA Finals victory. Playing against the Phoenix Mercury, it was the first home game for the team in more than a week.

The Chicago Sky Drumline performs outside the Wintrust Arena, before game 3 of the WNBA finals
The Chicago Sky Drumline performs outside the Wintrust Arena, before game 3 of the WNBA finals. Between the cheers and the heckles, fans said their spirit will help the Sky win it all this year.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Chicago Sky fans say they’re confident the team is going to win it all this year - and some fans say the victory might belong to them just as much as the team.

“You get the crowd involved, the team hears it, and then the energy just goes up and they play harder,” said die-hard fan Nikki Williams.

The Sky had their first home game in over a week on Friday, and fans at the sold-out Wintrust Arena said they were ready to do their part to help lead the team to a championship.

Fans wait in line to enter the Wintrust Arena to watch game 3 of the WNBA finals between the Chicago Sky and the Phoenix Mercury, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Fans packed into sold-out Wintrust Arena on Friday for game 3 of the WNBA finals.
Fans packed into sold-out Wintrust Arena on Friday for game 3 of the WNBA finals.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

“They’ve struggled for the last couple of seasons, so it’s great to see them be able to pick it up and build a team that they’ve been holding on to and just kind of being patient,” said fan AJ Brown, wearing a black Sky T-shirt.

Sorrell Hayes, a North Side native, says he does his part to help the team win by shouting at the refs and asking them, “Are you blind?” as well as intimidating the away team.

“I heckle the refs, the away team; I don’t care who it is,” said, Hayes, a season ticket holder. “I fall down in the seat, I pass out. It’s like I’m on the court, like I’m the coach. I’m a live wire.”

Chicago Sky fan Lisa Debiasi poses for a photo outside the Wintrust Arena before game 3 of the WNBA finals between the Chicago Sky and the Phoenix Mercury, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021.
Chicago Sky fans say the home game atmosphere is what has helped with the team’s success this year. Fan Lisa Debiasi said the atmosphere has been even better in the playoffs.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Hayes, a man who is “all about basketball,” said Chicago Sky home games carry an electric buzz that can’t be compared with any NBA game.

“Being here is just a different atmosphere,” he said. “To see how the little kids are involved in it - I see little boys play all the time, but the little girls, their hearts are beating, they’re passionate about it.”