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Warriors said to be close to securing local WNBA franchise

Closeup of a range and white striped basketball on a court
Lorie Shaull
Wikimedia Commons
An official WNBA basketball

It’s been 25 years since the Bay Area had a professional women’s basketball team. Back in 1996, the San Jose Lasers played as one of eight original teams in the short-lived American Basketball League, until they folded two years later.

Back then, Joe Lacob was the primary investor in the Lasers. Now, as the owner of the Golden State Warriors, Lacob has another chance to bring the women’s game to Bay Area fans, as the Warriors appear to close in on a deal for a new WNBA team.

As first reported in the Athletic, the new team would play at the Chase Center in San Francisco and practice at the Warrior’s training facility in downtown Oakland. A separate bid to bring a WNBA team to play at the Oakland Arena has been led by former player Alana Beard, but the Warriors are seen as the more likely option.

A new WNBA team would be the second expansion franchise for a professional women’s sports team to be based in the Bay Area. The National Women’s Soccer League’s Bay FC will play in San Jose’s PayPal Park beginning next year.

If the deal for the new WNBA team moves forward, it could be announced as early as next month. A squad could be ready to take the court for the 2025 season.

Sheryl Kaskowitz is a fellow in KALW's Audio Academy. Her beat is public arts and culture.