Golden State Warriors "Close" To Adding Bay Area WNBA Team

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In this photo illustration, the Golden State Warriors logo
BRAZIL - 2023/09/09: In this photo illustration, the Golden State Warriors logo is displayed on a smartphone screen. It is an American professional basketball team. The Warriors compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA). (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The WNBA might be about to get its first new team since 2008.

Sources within the Golden State Warriors have told ESPN that the organization is close to securing a WNBA expansion. While the deal is not final yet, sources said it was "expected soon". The team would play at the Chase Center and be wholly operated by the Warriors. Previously, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert has stated her desire to add two new teams to the league by 2025. However, no information has emerged about the other potential addition, which would presumably be in the Eastern Conference.

If the Warriors' deal is finalized, it would mark the first expansion franchise in the WNBA since Atlanta joined the league in 2008. While Engelbert has talked a big game about the desire to expand, there has been little tangible progress. Most recently, the league said they had recently narrowed down a longlist of 200 potential expansion locations. This has proven incredibly frustrating to fans, who have watched sustained growth and expansion in leagues such as soccer's NWSL. The league, founded in 2012, is due to add two teams in 2024 and another in 2026.

WNBA Fans Demand Expansion

At the start of the 2023 WNBA season, a number of high-profile cuts reignited the demands for expansion. Charli Collier (#1 pick in 2021), Emily Engstler (#4 in 2022), and Abby Meyers (#11 in 2023) were among the players who have been waived by their teams. The Collier, who has played 45 games over the last two seasons, waive was taken especially hard by fans.

"Another day of WNBA roster cuts, another day of needing WNBA roster expansion. Franchises need spots to develop college talent!!" Gaming Society's Matt Ellentuck tweeted. "Expansion is needed. However when there’s only 144 spots we have to be realistic. The gap between being a great NCAA player and a good enough #WNBA player is large. You have a few that come in ready but teams don’t have enough time to try & develop. They need you to be ready now." argued Women's Hoopz at the time. Hopefully, fans will be happy with the more definitive news that more teams are coming.

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.
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