September 29, 2023 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: Is expansion coming to the Bay Area?

Host Jackie Powell and Alex Simon discuss WNBA expansion

On today’s episode of Locked on Women’s Basketball, host Jackie Powell sits down with SF Gate’s Alex Simon to discuss the latest news regarding WNBA expansion.

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On Tuesday, Marcus Thompson II at The Athletic reported that the Golden State Warriors are “close to bringing a WNBA franchise to the Bay Area.” What did we learn from the report? What also remains to be seen? And what does this mean for the timeline of WNBA expansion and the other possible locations that the W could have its eyes on?

Alex shares his initial reactions to the news:

“Cathy Engelbert, [the] WNBA commissioner, has made it pretty clear what her intentions are,” Alex said. “Let me quote her directly, ‘It doesn’t seem right that the league does not have a team in the Bay Area.’ So she seems to be ready to rectify that with her very first expansion move here.”

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If finalized, the franchise will play at the Chase Center, home of the Warriors, and be headquartered in Oakland.

“Chase Center is without question the premier basketball facility in the Bay Area,” Alex said. “And the idea that a Warrior’s-owned team that built the Chase Center would not be playing games in that building just didn’t seem right to anybody. And if you played them anywhere else, it would almost seem less than what you would be getting from the Warriors. So to me, it makes all the sense in the world that that’s where the games are — they want as many events in there as possible, with 40 games scheduled now, that’s 20 more dates of events for them to guarantee on a yearly basis…So it makes all the sense in the world for the Warriors to take their arena and want more within there, and the WNBA team gives them 20 dates.”

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