Golden State Warriors wins approval for new WNBA franchise

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NBA team Golden State Warriors has announced the forming of an expansion team that will participate in the WNBA starting 2025.

Being the first new WNBA franchise in more than a decade, the team will be owned and operated by current Warriors CEO and co-executive Chairman Joe Lacob, alongside co-executive Chairman Peter Guber

For its headquarters, Golden State Warriors WNBA will move into the NBA team’s former practice grounds, the Oakland Facility. Home games will be played at the Chase Center in San Francisco.

The Warriors are joining the Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Brooklyn Nets, Phoenix Suns, and Washington Wizards as the sixth NBA franchise to have a WNBA team. 

Lacob commented: “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.”

Currently the WNBA is experiencing a period of rapid growth, with the 2023 regular season taking home some record numbers in terms of viewership, attendance and digital engagement – a result of the league’s business transformation strategy. 

This offseason’s WNBA Draft was the most watched since 2004, which was immediately topped by what became the most-watched regular season in 21 years. Together with the digital overhaul of the WNBA’s mobile app and website, this all has attracted significant attention from investors and commercial partners. 

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said: “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. 

“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.”

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