The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) has awarded its first expansion franchise since 2008 to the Golden State Warriors, with the new outfit to play at the NBA team’s home, Chase Center.
The new team, which has yet to be given an official moniker, will debut in the 2025 WNBA season. It will be owned and operated by Warriors co-executive chairman and CEO, Joe Lacob, and co-executive chairman Peter Guber, and will play home games at Chase Center, the 18,064-capacity venue which opened in San Francisco in September 2019.
Additionally, Golden State’s Oakland Facility, which served as the Warriors’ practice facility and front office from 1997 to 2019, will be the WNBA team’s headquarters, housing a “world-class” practice facility and the team’s front office staff.
“We are thrilled about expanding to the Bay Area and bringing the WNBA to a region with passionate basketball fans and a strong history of supporting women’s basketball,” said WNBA commissioner, Cathy Engelbert.
“Joe Lacob, Peter Guber and their leadership team know how to build and operate a world-class organisation, as witnessed by the immense success the Warriors’ franchise has enjoyed from both a business and basketball perspective over the last decade. Their interest in joining the WNBA family is yet another sign of the league’s growth potential.”
Lacob added: “The Bay Area is the perfect market for a WNBA team, and we are thrilled this opportunity has finally come to fruition.
“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, and believe now is the ideal time to execute that vision and build upon the legacy.
“The WNBA continues to solidify itself as the preeminent women’s professional basketball league, and we look forward to supporting the best women’s basketball players in the world and our team starting in 2025.”
The Warriors become the sixth NBA franchise to have a WNBA team, joining the Indiana Pacers (Indiana Fever), Minnesota Timberwolves (Minnesota Lynx), Brooklyn Nets (New York Liberty,) Phoenix Suns (Phoenix Mercury), and Washington Wizards (Washington Mystics).
The WNBA moved to 12 teams with the addition of the Atlanta Dream in 2008. Speaking at a news conference yesterday (Thursday), Engelbert said the league is aiming to add a 14th franchise in time for the 2025 season.
Regarding potential candidates for this team, she added: “I’ve made no secret. I’ve been to Portland, I’ve been to Denver, I’ve been to Toronto. We held a sold-out preseason game in Toronto this year. Philadelphia, there’s many – Charlotte.”