Professional basketball is currently in the works for a return to Oakland.
No, Steph and the Golden State Warriors will not be returning from their ‘mansion’ known as The Chase Center in San Francisco, but the city of Oakland could land an expansion WNBA team — and the city and their fan base cannot be more excited.
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert leading up to WNBA draft on April 15th, hinted that adding more franchises is being considered.
She stated, “I think if we have a very successful season this year, this time next year we can certainly start talking about what expansion would look like, how many [additional teams], and the timeframe over which that would occur.”
Since then, the expansion plan has been put into motion. The African American Sports and Entertainment Group (AASEG) has been working behind the scenes to secure a 50% stake in the Oakland Coliseum Complex, with their proposal focused on the idea of bringing a WNBA team to the city.
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert reiterated last week that expanding the league is a priority.
Charlotte, Houston, Philadelphia, and Toronto have been identified as potential expansion cities 🏀https://t.co/j8Bic1idMD
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) July 19, 2021
In June of this year, the Oakland city council rules committee voted to advance the group’s term sheet to a full city council vote.
The AASEG proposal noted that the Bay Area market has more WNBA fans than the markets for eight of the league’s current teams and that the goal for the team in Oakland is to be a“woman-lead ownership group”.
Oakland Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan has advocated in favor of a move.
“Oakland has the location, history and demographics to support a highly successful WNBA team, a great fan base and a welcoming community,” she said. “We also have an available basketball arena that’s easy to get to from throughout the greater region”.
Vice Mayor Kaplan Twitter Post:
— Rebecca Kaplan, Vice Mayor of Oakland (@Kaplan4Oakland) July 19, 2021
With AASEG jumping into the WNBA expansion fray and endorsements from Commissioner Engelbert and Vice Mayor Kaplan — it looks like we will soon have a WNBA team in Oakland, and professional hoops back at Oracle Area.
Other expansion cities options include Philadelphia, Houston, Toronto, Miami, and Charlotte.