Wednesday September 27, 2023

Oakland Shoots Its Shot for the WNBA

  • Oakland called on the WNBA to bring a team to the city.
  • The city cited its existing, basketball-ready arena and shared values with the WNBA.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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While the city of Oakland is fighting to keep one team, it’s lobbying for another.

The city council passed a resolution on Tuesday calling for the WNBA to add a team in Oakland. The 12-team league is looking to add two new teams as soon as the 2024 season.

  • The resolution cited the city’s existing basketball-ready arena, vacated by the Golden State Warriors before the 2019-20 season, and its shared values with the WNBA.
  • The arena is situated near a train station and a highway, and has ample parking.
  • The Oakland A’s play on the same site but will be leaving within the next few years, either for a new development on the Oakland waterfront or Las Vegas.

Retired WNBA legend Alana Beard is heading an effort to bring a team to Oakland.

San Francisco, Nashville, Philadelphia, Portland, and Toronto are all believed to be contenders for expansion.

A Visit From Washington

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg toured Oakland with mayor Libby Schaaf and Rep. Barbara Lee to see the city’s Reconnecting the Town project targeted by the $4 billion RAISE program, which supports municipal infrastructure.

The Department of Transportation is considering an additional $182.9 million funding request from Oakland to support infrastructure improvements related to the A’s proposed $12 billion stadium development. The city is not expecting to receive the full amount, after initial feedback.

Some of the Reconnecting the Town work may be close enough to the A’s proposed site to benefit the team’s project.

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