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Warriors looking into a WNBA team once the Chase Center is complete

After Golden State moves to San Francisco, adding a WNBA franchise may follow

Degree Shooting Stars Competition 2015 Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

It’s an exciting time to be a fan of the Golden State Warriors. The defending champions are heavy favorites to repeat this season, are forming a legacy, have some of the most exciting players in the world, and are building a state-of-the-art arena on the water in San Francisco.

And now, it appears, they may have a WNBA team in their future.

Speaking to Susan Slusser of the SF Chronicle, Golden State president Rick Welts had this to say about a WNBA franchise:

It’s definitely something on our radar, but timing is a consideration for us. We’ve talked to the league several times about what it would look like, but in reality, we have a lot on our plate right now with the new arena.

Despite our enthusiasm for women’s basketball, the time isn’t right with everything else going on, but we have great interest. I think there is a real opportunity here.

A WNBA team in the Bay Area makes sense, and is long overdue. Oakland, San Francisco, and the Bay Area at large have pushed for equality in ways that most other American cities have not.

The Bay also has a steady stream of basketball talent coming out of Stanford, Cal, and other local schools, and the Warriors’ fanbase is, in my admittedly biased mind, as strong as they get. Add in the Bay Area’s large market, and it’s hard to find a city more perfect for the WNBA.

While the Warriors seem unlikely to make this move until the Chase Center is finished, Welts suggested that a potential WNBA team would likely play in a separate arena. WNBA teams currently don’t draw as many ticket sales as NBA games do, and Welts pointed out that a smaller arena filled to capacity creates a better experience than a large arena that isn’t full.

Northern California has had professional women’s basketball teams before. From 1979-81, the San Francisco Pioneers played in the Women’s Basketball League. The San Jose Lasers (owned by Joe Lacob) competed in the American Basketball League from 1996-98, and, not far away, the Sacramento Monarchs played in the WNBA from 1997-2009.

With no professional teams for the amazingly talented women out there, there’s a basketball void in the Bay Area. Hopefully in a few years, that will no longer be the case.

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