Though it is not an immediate possibility, the Golden State Warriors are acknowledging their interest in eventually launching a WNBA franchise.
The Warriors are currently playing out their final seasons at Oakland’s Oracle Arena, and are planning to open a new venue in San Francisco in the coming years. That new venue–the Chase Center–is currently under construction in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood, and is scheduled to open in time for the 2019-20 NBA season.
For the Warriors, the completion of the Chase Center is a major long-term priority, so the club is not currently focused on launching a WNBA franchise. However, once the arena project is complete, bringing a WNBA team to the Bay Area is something the Warriors could consider. More from The San Francisco Chronicle:
“It’s definitely something on our radar, but timing is a consideration for us,” Warriors president Rick Welts said. “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.”
San Francisco has not had a women’s pro team since the Pioneers of the Women’s Basketball League played at the Civic Auditorium from 1979 to 1981. One of biggest stars of the Women’s Basketball League played for the Pioneers. “Machine Gun” Molly Bolin holds the record for most points in a game (55) by a female basketball player and was nicknamed for her ability to put up points.
The Warriors currently have a NBA Gatorade League franchise–the Santa Cruz Warriors, who play their home games at Kaiser Permanente Arena–in their organization.