The WNBA announced an expansion team in the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday.
The new team will begin play in the 2025 season, bringing the league to 13 teams overall. The WNBA has not expanded since adding the Atlanta Dream in 2008.
The WNBA had been teasing an impending announcement on its social media accounts since Tuesday amid reports of a deal with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors to bring a franchise to the Bay Area. The team will play its games at Chase Center in San Francisco and will be headquartered in Oakland.
“We’re coming in here, number one, to win,” Warriors chairman Joe Lacob told ESPN. “Number two, we want to see this league and women’s basketball grow, and we hope to be a big part of it.”
The WNBA is still in conversations over a second expansion team, “likely” in Portland, Oregon, according to multiple reports. In May, the league had narrowed its list of potential cities to 20, commissioner Cathy Engelbert said.
Engelbert long had touted the Bay Area as a “top candidate” for expansion. And while the area is new to the WNBA, it has hosted professional women’s basketball in the past: The San Jose Lasers played from 1996 to 1998 as part of the defunct American Basketball League.
Additionally, the Bay Area is welcoming another women’s professional sports team. Back in April, the NWSL announced its own expansion team, Bay FC, which will begin play in 2024.
It’s official. We’re expanding.Tune in at 1pm EST/10am PST on X and the WNBA App to watch live remarks from @CathyEngelbert and @wnbagoldenstate pic.twitter.com/l7UiUT7kA3— WNBA (@WNBA) October 5, 2023
It’s official. We’re expanding.Tune in at 1pm EST/10am PST on X and the WNBA App to watch live remarks from @CathyEngelbert and @wnbagoldenstate pic.twitter.com/l7UiUT7kA3