OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — The USA Women’s Basketball team remains undefeated at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Locally, a team of African American business leaders who are trying to bring the WNBA to the Bay Area, got a win of their own on Friday.
The WNBA is now one step closer to establishing a professional women’s basketball team in Oakland
“We are talking about a term for 5-years.”
“I think it will be a win-win for all parties.”
In a rare unanimous vote, the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority approved a non-binding term sheet clearing the way for a WNBA team to play in Oakland.
City council president and Oakland vice mayor Rebecca Kaplan has been instrumental in paving the way for this moment
“I am super excited and we know that Oakland has a strong community that is ready to support women’s basketball and restore the energy of Roaracle at our arena,” Kaplan said. “So this is one step closer to have a WNBA team in Oakland.”
“This could be easily one of the biggest WNBA markets in the country for sure,” Ray Bobbitt said.
Bobbitt is the founder of the African American Sports and Entertainment Group that submitted the unanimously approved term sheet for the arena.
Reporter: “Would this be relocating an existing WNBA team or starting a brand new franchise right here in Oakland?”
“We are requesting expansion,” Bobbitt said. “To be quite honest with you as Oaklanders, relocation is not something we really like to even talk about.”
He says there are still several steps in this process including submitting the new team ownership proposal to the COO of the WNBA, followed by an expansion review and a vote by current WNBA owners. We are talking at least a couple of years but securing an agreement for an arena puts Oakland in an advantageous position among other cities seeking expansion.
“We’ve talked to the WNBA about that. We are in a pretty urgent mode,” Bobbitt said. “We are not trying to wait around.”