A general view of Chase Center on Oct. 17, 2023, where the Golden State Warriors plan to bring a WNBA team to in 2025. (Feven Mamo / Golden Gate Xpress)
A general view of Chase Center on Oct. 17, 2023, where the Golden State Warriors plan to bring a WNBA team to in 2025. (Feven Mamo / Golden Gate Xpress)
Feven Mamo

Warriors awarded WNBA expansion team set to debut in 2025

The new women’s affiliate team will play their home games in the Chase Center

Professional women’s basketball is coming to the Bay Area.

The Golden State Warriors have been awarded a WNBA expansion franchise set to debut in 2025, according to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.

Home games will be played at the Chase Center and the Warriors’ former Oakland facility will serve as the team’s headquarters, where the front office and practices will be held.

The addition will be the first new franchise to join the WNBA since 2008. The team will be owned and operated by Warriors co-executive chairman, CEO Joe Lacob, and co-executive chairman Peter Gruber.

Lacob mentioned the excitement within the Warriors front office, as they feel the Bay Area is the perfect place for a WNBA team.

“We have been interested in a WNBA franchise for several years,” Lacob said in a statement. “Due in part to the rich history of women’s basketball in the Bay Area, and believe now is the ideal time to execute that vision and build upon the legacy. The WNBA continues to solidify itself as the preeminent women’s professional basketball league, and we look forward to supporting the best women’s basketball players in the world and our team starting in 2025.”

During a WNBA press conference announcing the Warrior’s acquisition of a new expansion franchise, San Francisco Mayor London Breed expressed how this move served as a beacon of hope to support the next generation of women’s basketball not only in the Bay Area but also worldwide.

This move marks the return of women’s basketball in Northern California for the first time since the departure of the Sacramento Monarchs in 2009.

SFSU women’s basketball head coach Natasha Smith, a Sacramento native, expressed how the move could create new opportunities within the community and give loyal Bay Area fans a new team to rally behind.

“It helps grow the game in the most powerful way that it can,” Smith said. “The Bay is like the next best place for you to put a women’s basketball team. ​​Just the support of the culture, if you see how the energy is at high school games and now you add a pro team to it, it is going to be really fun to watch them (women’s basketball) hoop all year long.”

Kali Myers, a junior guard for the SFSU women’s basketball team, played high school basketball while attending Bishop O’Dowd in Oakland. She talked about the influence a WNBA team could have on and off the court.

“It’s really exciting just because growing up, I always went to a lot of Warriors games and Warriors camps,” Myers said. “Being able to know that there will be a women’s team is kind of motivating. I know it’d be really motivating for the younger girls playing basketball in the next generation to be able to see more women’s teams. Women’s empowerment in the Bay Area will be more present as well.”

As women’s basketball makes its return to Northern California, the SFSU women’s basketball team is preparing for their season opener on Nov. 10 against Simon Fraser at Otter Sports Complex.

“It just adds to the competitive nature honestly,“ Myers said. “Just makes you want to work harder.”

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About the Contributors
Victor Harris Jr
Victor Harris Jr, Podcast Editor
Victor Harris Jr (he/him) is a reporter for Golden Gate Xpress. Raised in Fairfield, California, he is a transfer student from Solano Community College, majoring in Journalism with a minor in Management. During his free time, you can find him watching sports, bowling, gaming, or working on his sports podcast, More Trophies.
Feven Mamo
Feven Mamo, Staff Photographer
Feven Mamo started her educational journey at Berkeley City College, initially majoring in computer science, before transferring to San Francisco State University as an economics major. Professionally, she held the role of an Economic Equity Research Analyst at U3 Systems Work. Her photography passion started with a thrifted film camera from Oakland, her work is influenced by social justice issues and the streets of Oakland. Previously, her photography has been selected as a weekly favorite by VSCO, a photography app for mobile devices. Feven also exhibits a deep enthusiasm for curly hair, having previously worked as a hair model for hairstylists. 

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