The WNBA officially is coming to the Bay Area.
The league announced Thursday morning that the Golden State Warriors have been awarded a WNBA expansion team.
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This is the first time the WNBA has expanded since 2008.
“The Bay Area is the perfect market for a WNBA team, and we are thrilled this opportunity has finally come to fruition,” Warriors owner Joe Lacob said in a statement released by the team. “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.
"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 unnamed Bay Area WNBA team will begin playing games in 2025 and will call Chase Center home. Its headquarters will be at the Warriors' old downtown Oakland practice facility.
Golden State Warriors
“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 said in a statement released by the Warriors. “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. Their interest in joining the WNBA family is yet another sign of the league’s growth potential.”
The Athletic first reported on Sept. 26 that the Bay Area was going to get a WNBA team, and now it is set in stone.
The new Bay Area WNBA team joins the current 12 teams: Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Dallas Wings, Indiana Fever, Las Vegas Aces, Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury, Seattle Storm and Washington (D.C.) Mystics.
"I think the WNBA has really just become a part of the sports fabric in our country," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said in a video released by the WNBA. "The WNBA is a league that has given a couple of generations of young women the chance to play professionally at the highest level. There's a great joy and a love for basketball in the Bay Area. We've seen such a connection between the Warriors and WNBA players."
The Bay Area has a rich history of developing professional women's basketball players, in addition to a storied tradition in college basketball, most notably with the Stanford Cardinal.
Professional women's basketball hasn't been played in the Bay Area since 1996 through 1998 when the San Jose Lasers -- owned by Lacob -- existed in the American Basketball League.
But now the WNBA is planting deep roots in the Bay Area, and they will be here for a long time.