The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) announced in an Oct. 5 press release that the Golden State Warriors will be awarded an expansion team that will have its inaugural season in 2025. The team, which has yet to be officially named, will be the first new team in the WNBA since 2008, and the Warriors will become the eighth National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise to have their own WNBA franchise.
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in the statement, “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… their interest in joining the WNBA family is yet another sign of the league’s growth potential.”
According to ESPN, a potential Bay Area WNBA team has been rumored since May, along with Toronto, Denver, Austin, Nashville, Charlotte, and Portland. The team will play the regular season at the Chase Center and will take over the Warriors’ old practice facility in Oakland, which will serve as the team’s headquarters and practice facility.
With the National Football League’s (NFL) Las Vegas Raiders, who left Oakland in 2020, and Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Oakland Athletics potentially leaving the Bay Area for Vegas as well, the WNBA team will bring a new opportunity for fandom in Bay Area sports.
Senior marketing major Jasmeen Chhabra, who works for the Warriors as a group sales assistant, said, “I was born and raised in the Bay Area, and I grew up playing basketball in school and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), I think this move to the Bay is going to be awesome. This really is a special place that is going to embrace the WNBA, and I think it’s going to be huge for women’s sports.”
“There is a lot of great female talent here, on and off the court,” Chhabra said. “This opportunity is going to be able to showcase it at the highest level. It’ll create so many more opportunities for women in sports, and I’m so excited to see more women in the industry.”
The new WNBA team will look to inherit some of the Warriors’ dominance, as the Warriors have won four out of the last ten NBA championships.
In the meantime, students can secure tickets for the USF Legacy Doubleheader, at which the USF men’s and women’s basketball teams will play at the Chase Center on Nov. 26. The women will take on Colorado State at 2:30 p.m. and the men will play the University of Minnesota at 5:30 p.m.