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Monday, June 24, 2024

Seattle Storm WNBA’s Most Valuable Team After Investment

  • Fifteen investors increasing the value of the franchise to $151 million.
  • Storm plan to build a 50,000-square-foot practice facility with offices worth $64 million.
Seattle Storm Briann January driving to the hoop.
Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

Business interest in WNBA teams is on the rise.

The Seattle Storm now have the highest valuation of any team in the WNBA after selling minority stakes to 15 investors, valuing the club at $151 million, according to The Wall Street Journal — 15 times more than other teams.

  • Force 10 Hoops LLC, a company run by three women in the Seattle area, is still the controlling owner of the team. 
  • The team will see major benefits from the sale — the Storm plan to build a 50,000-square-foot practice facility with offices worth $64 million

Less than 200 miles away, the city of Portland is making a bid for a WNBA expansion team. 

Both the Portland Thorns and the Trail Blazers are involved, as well as coaches from Oregon and Oregon State and Sen. Ron Wyden.

When it comes to expansion, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said the league is shooting for 2025. Toronto, Nashville, and the Bay Area — both Oakland and San Francisco — are contenders, while Columbia, South Carolina, and Philadelphia have also been mentioned.

Aces Investigation

Meanwhile, the league office is investigating the Las Vegas Aces for “circumventing the salary cap,” according to The Next Hoops. 

The team allegedly tried to offer a player a sponsorship deal in addition to a salary, which is a violation of the collective bargaining agreement.

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