The WNBA could potentially find its way to the city of Oakland.
The Oakland city council approved a resolution on Tuesday urging the league to establish a WNBA team. But the city’s recent resolution was not the first step in its plan to secure a team.
Before WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert shared that Oakland was one of several cities in which the league is exploring to establish a franchise in June, the Oakland Coliseum Authority, Alameda County Board of Supervisors and city council leaders voted unanimously to start a team in Oakland during a meeting in July 2021.
After that meeting, former four-time WNBA All-Star Alana Beard stated that she would partner with the African American Sports and Entertainment Group (AASEG) with hopes of establishing a team in the city in October 2021.
Rebecca Kaplan, Councilmember At-Large in Oakland, is a strong believer that the city has all the proper infrastructure and a fervid fanbase to start a WNBA team. She also believes Oakland will easily be able to supply resources for women and girls within the Bay Area.
“Oakland is a community that values social justice, equality, and women’s rights,” Kaplan wrote in the city’s resolution. “These principles align with those of the WNBA, and we are ready to move forward as a partner in advancing those goals as the home for a new WNBA team.”
Among other cities that the WNBA is exploring for expansion include Nashville, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco and Toronto. Engelbert is seeking to potentially add one or two teams for the 2024 season.
Currently, the WNBA has 12 teams and has not expanded since establishing the Dream in 2008.
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