The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California

The Scribe

The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California

The Scribe

The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California

The Scribe

Women’s Professional Sports Are On the Way to the Bay

The+Bay+Area+is+introducing+new+WNBA+and+NWSL+teams+in+2024+and+2025.
Mungo Kitsch
The Bay Area is introducing new WNBA and NWSL teams in 2024 and 2025.

In 2023, it was announced that the Bay Area will be welcoming two new women’s professional sports teams: the Bay Football Club of the National Women’s Soccer League and an unnamed “Golden Gate” team of the Women’s National Basketball Association. The teams’ inaugural seasons will be in 2024 and 2025, respectively. 

The Bay Area has never had its own women’s professional basketball team, however, it has had two professional women’s soccer teams – the San Jose CyberRays of the Women’s United Soccer Association and the FC Gold Pride of the Women’s Professional Soccer League – in the past. Both leagues are no longer active. 

So, why did the WNBA and NWSL choose the Bay Area as the home of their new teams?

Bay FC was founded by Leslie Osborne, Brandi Chastain, Danielle Slaton, and Aly Wagner – all of whom played for Santa Clara University and the United States women’s national team. The four began their efforts to add a new team to the NWSL shortly after the Los Angeles’ Angel City soccer team was founded in 2020. “…[T]he four of us have personally come out of the Bay Area, there’s a massive culture of women’s football in the Bay Area,” Wagner told SFGate. “The long-term vision for us is to produce our own talent.” Bay FC is the 14th team of the NWSL following the addition of the Utah Royals, who will also start play in 2024. The team will share their home stadium, PayPal Park, with the San Jose Earthquakes of the Major Soccer League.  

The WNBA’s first expansion team in over 15 years, known for the time being as “Golden Gate”, will expand to the Bay Area as an affiliate of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. As the chairman of the Golden State, which has won four titles in the past decade, Joe Lacob believes that the Warriors franchise will know how to operate the new team and make business bustle in the WNBA more than ever. “We have been interested in a WNBA franchise for several years, due in part to the rich history of women’s basketball in the Bay Area,” Lacob expressed to NBC News Bay Area. “[We] believe now is the ideal time to execute that vision and build upon that legacy.” Despite not having a women’s professional basketball team, the Bay Area has had a strong fanbase amongst many of its women’s college teams, including the Stanford Cardinals and California Golden Bears. Golden Gate will play their home games at Chase Center and will train in the Warriors’ former stadium, Oakland Arena (formerly Oracle Arena).

The addition of new women’s professional sports teams in the Bay Area has inspired many Wilcox female athletes. “With the new WNBA and soccer teams coming to the Bay Area, we all have female athletes to look up to that we didn’t formerly have,” voices Senior Girls Varsity Basketball player Samantha Gong. “Seeing women in sports is so inspiring and motivating to push harder especially since they are expanding. I see the younger generations of girls basketball having a successful future now with more opportunities in the WNBA and NWSL.”

The Bay Area’s addition of new women’s sports teams on the professional level displays the growing development of women’s sports not only within the Bay Area, but throughout the nation as well. Women’s professional sports leagues have been expanding as much as ever, keeping younger generations of female athletes hopeful for their future in sports.

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