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What a WNBA team in Oakland means to the league

On September 26, Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic broke news of a potential WNBA team coming to Oakland. Former WNBA star Alanna Beard of the African American Sports and Entertainment Group, submitted a bid for a team to expand to the Bay Area back in November 2021.

This afternoon, it was reported that the league will announce the addition of Oakland's team tomorrow, October 5. The Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob, who was a part of a group who started the now defunct American Basketball League, always wanted to bring a WNBA team to The Bay. Now, he is getting the opportunity to expand the league to a place rooted in their sports teams.

As stated in a February 2023 article from the San Francisco Chronicle, writer Marisa Ingemi reported, "AASEG’s exclusive deal with the city was reached last week and will cost the developer a $200,000-per-year fee, plus $2.5 million in one-time funds to cover staff time. Oakland originally agreed to negotiate with AASEG in November 2021."

In recent years, Oakland was hit with the loss of the Warriors to neighboring San Francisco, the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas and the Oakland Athletics are inching closer and closer to joining the Raiders in Sin City. In Last Chance U, Laney head coach John Beam stated along the lines of how losing their teams was like losing the cities identity. Oakland is rooted in community and love for their sports teams.

So what does the expansion to Oakland mean to the city? The league represents diversity, social justice and inclusion. Oakland is one of the most diverse cities in the country with no singular race taking over. The Bay Area has a rich history in social justice and LGBTQ+ equality which perfectly aligns with the the league's forefront in nationwide change.

Oakland and the Bay is a special area of not only California but the United States. They foster a community that should be a model for the rest of the country. They are passionate and loyal to their teams and will no doubt welcome the new WNBA franchise into their home at Oracle Arena.

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