Tuesday October 3, 2023

Oakland Paves Way for WNBA Expansion Team

  • Oakland has entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement with the African American Sports and Entertainment Group over a new development.
  • The development could bring sports, entertainment, and housing to the city's 50% stake of the Oakland Coliseum site.
A close up of a WNBA basketball
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Oakland is getting closer to its own WNBA team.

The city has entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement with the African American Sports and Entertainment Group over development of the city’s 50% stake of the Oakland Coliseum site — which could bring sports, entertainment, and housing to the area.

In 2021, it was announced that WNBA champion and four-time All-Star Alana Beard and attorney Jade Smith-Williams were leading efforts by the AASEG to begin the process of establishing a team.

Beard is close to completing and submitting the proposal to the WNBA, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

  • The WNBA previously announced plans to add two teams for the 2024 season, but the timeline has been moved to at least 2025.
  • Beard is reportedly using the delay to secure infrastructure.

AASEG has two years to negotiate. 

Nashville, San Francisco, and Toronto are also thought to be possible contenders for expansion teams.

A’s Contribution

The Oakland A’s own the other half of the property and would have to approve any plans to redevelop the area. The team’s lease expires in 2024, and the A’s have been exploring a new $12 billion waterfront stadium project at Howard Terminal.

“Certainly, the A’s are welcome to be a part of this; I want to make it clear, they’re not being kicked out,” said Rebecca Kaplan, an Oakland City Council member. “We welcome them to be a part of revitalization of the site.”

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