The owners of NBA’s Golden State Warriors have been awarded a new professional women’s basketball franchise that will begin playing in San Francisco in 2025.
(Bloomberg) — The owners of NBA’s Golden State Warriors have been awarded a new professional women’s basketball franchise that will begin playing in San Francisco in 2025.
The team, which has yet to named, will be owned and operated by Warriors co-Executive Chairmen Joe Lacob and Peter Guber. It becomes the Women’s National Basketball Association’s 13th franchise.
“No better place to do it than here,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Englebert said Thursday at a press conference. Although she sees the league’s now odd number of teams as “lucky,” discussions are underway to add another city by 2025.
The new team is set to play home games in San Francisco’s Chase Center, the Warriors’ home arena, and have their headquarters at the team’s facility in Oakland. This is the sixth NBA franchise to also own a team in the WNBA. Founded in 1946 as the Philadelphia Warriors, the men’s team moved west in 1962 and has since won seven league championships.
“We have been interested in a WNBA franchise for several years, due in part to the rich history of women’s basketball in the Bay Area,” Lacob said in a statement.
Lacob — a venture capitalist and early investor in the now-defunct women’s American Basketball League — said he’s sure the new team can win a championship in its first five years. The investors have committed $50 million to the new WNBA franchise over 10 years, Sportico reported.
A group of minority investors in the Warriors is looking to sell their roughly 10% stake, Bloomberg News reported last month. A deal could potentially value the team at $7 billion.
Engelbert, the chief executive at Deloitte before her appointment as commissioner in 2019, said shes uses three main criteria for deciding where to put a new team, including supportive fans, owners and the potential for a broader impact on the league’s entertainment value.
“The San Francisco Bay Area has proved to meet the mark and well exceed it in each of those three areas,” she said.
(Updates with commissioner’s comments in second paragraph.)
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