Thursday December 7, 2023

Bay Area WNBA Expansion Latest Step In League Growth

  • The WNBA is reportedly expanding to the Bay Area with a new team owned by the Warriors' owners.
  • Expansion beyond the league's current 12 teams has been a top priority.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
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The WNBA’s quest to expand beyond the league’s current 12 teams appears to be off and running.

Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob is reportedly leading a group that’s set to bring a new team to the Bay Area. The WNBA franchise would play at the Warriors’ Chase Center and have headquarters at the NBA team’s practice facility in Oakland. An announcement is expected in October.

WNBA expansion has been anticipated for some time now. Earlier this year, commissioner Cathy Engelbert said the league was eyeing a short list of 10 cities for new teams and hoping to add multiple franchises by 2025.

In addition to the Bay Area, other cities likely still under consideration include Nashville, Toronto, Austin, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Portland. Engelbert also visited Denver over the summer to explore expansion opportunities there.

A Bay Area club would bring the WNBA to 13 teams and add a seventh to its Western Conference — making it all the more likely a 14th club could be on its way soon to make an even number.

Other Side Of The Story

While expansion has been a top priority for the WNBA’s leaders, its players are not completely sold on the idea.

In July, 2022 WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson told Front Office Sports she would like to see the league’s current 144 players be better taken care of before adding new expansion clubs or growing teams’ roster sizes.

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