The Women's National Basketball Association has announced a new expansion franchise in the Bay Area.
The new team will be the 13th in the league. It has not yet been named, but will be headquartered in Oakland, California, and play games at Chase Center in San Francisco beginning in 2025. The owners will be the co-executive chairman and CEO of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, Joe Lacob, and co-executive chairman Peter Guber.
“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 that legacy,” Lacob said in a press release. “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.”
Ending the gender pay gap in sports
This marks the first franchise expansion since 2007, when a team was announced in Atlanta, Georgia. The next year, the Dream began playing. The WNBA was founded in 1996, with games beginning in 1997.
The Warriors are now the sixth NBA franchise to have a corresponding WNBA team. Others include the Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Brooklyn Nets, Phoenix Suns, and Washington Wizards.
“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,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert added. “Joe Lacob, Peter Guber and their leadership team know how to build and operate a world-class organization, as witnessed by the immense success the Warriors’ franchise has enjoyed from both a business and basketball perspective over the last decade.”
The WNBA finals begin Sunday, with the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty competing.