April 21, 2024 

Dallas Wings could relocate downtown as soon as 2026

Plan to move to Dallas Memorial Auditorium faces a vote on Wednesday

On Saturday, The Dallas Morning News reported that the Dallas Wings hope to relocate to an arena in downtown Dallas.

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The Dallas City Council aims to finish a renovation project for the Dallas Memorial Auditorium by 2026 as part of a larger redevelopment plan. This decision is pending a vote on a resident use and incentive agreement that is scheduled for Wednesday.

Per The Dallas Morning News, the proposed agreement outlines a deal that will pay the team $19 million over three years. The city is expected to offset this cost with $1.5 million in annual revenue for 15 years. The resolution also allows for the possibility of extending the deal for 15 more years.

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The Dallas Wings released a statement about the plan on Saturday night. The statement clarifies that the team has had ongoing conversations with Mayor Eric Johnson and city officials regarding the plans for renovations in the Memorial Auditorium. Some details of the plan are still unclear, like the timeline for approval from the WNBA Board of Governors and the Dallas City Council.

“Women’s basketball has captured the nation’s attention like never before, and both the WNBA and the Wings are experiencing an unprecedented surge in popularity,” Dallas Wings president and CEO Greg Bibb said in the statement. “The City of Arlington, the University of Texas at Arlington, and College Park Center continue to be wonderful partners, and we look forward to continuing that relationship during the 2024 and 2025 seasons. The City of Dallas’s proposal offers a fitting, world-class stage for our remarkable athletes and devoted fans and we look forward to commenting further at the appropriate time.”

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The Dallas Wings currently play at the College Park Center on the University of Texas at Arlington campus. The Center can hold about 7,000 fans. Last season, according to Across the Timeline, the Wings ranked ninth in the WNBA in fans per game, with an average of 4,600.

The relocation plan comes after the recent success of college and professional women’s basketball. The NCAA women’s championship game between Iowa and South Carolina became the highest-viewed basketball game since 2019, with nearly 19 million viewers. The WNBA Draft, which took place on Monday, broke records for viewership and social engagement and became the most-watched WNBA event since 2000, with No. 1 pick Caitlin Clark continuing to drive interest.

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Written by Aya Abdeen

Aya Abdeen is a student in sports journalism at Arizona State University and has been a contributing writer for The Next since December 2022. She is also a sports reporter for the Sun Devils’ women’s basketball team for The State Press. Her work has also appeared on AZPreps365.

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