Warriors reportedly close to bringing WNBA team to Bay Area
The WNBA is finally coming to the Bay Area.
The owners of the Golden State Warriors are close to a deal that would launch a WNBA team in the Bay Area, a story broken by Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic.
The deal is not completed, sources stressed, as several details still need to be worked out. But if finalized, the franchise will play its games at Chase Center and be headquartered in Oakland at the [Warriors’] practice facility, which the organization still owns and uses to maintain a presence in the community. An announcement could come as soon as early October.
The Athletic reached out to the Warriors, who issued this statement:
“We have had productive conversations with the WNBA and look forward to the possibility of being a part of the league’s expansion plans. However, it would be premature to assume any potential agreement has been finalized.”
Warriors majority owner Joe Lacob helped found the ABL, a women’s
professional basketball league that started in 1996, one year before the WNBA, but could not survive while the NBA and its strong marketing arm got the WNBA off the ground.
The WNBA has been looking at expansion for a couple of years as the sport’s popularity grew and adding a team in the Bay Area — which has long shown strong support for the women’s college teams in the region — seemed a natural fit. Lacob and the Warriors ownership group have the reputation of running a first-class organization as well as the facilities for practices and games under their control. While the WNBA Board of Governors (the other owners) would need to approve the expansion, that would seem likely.
Adding a WNBA team in the Bay Area seems a natural fit and a smart step in the league’s expansion. Hopefully, this gets done and nothing trips this up before it crosses the finish line.