The Liberty introduced on Thursday that they’d play their house video games subsequent season at Barclays Middle, the Brooklyn enviornment that still properties the N.B.A.’s Nets. The sector was once not too long ago bought by means of Joe Tsai, the groups’ number one proprietor.
The announcement got here an afternoon after the W.N.B.A. staff made every other large trade. On Wednesday, the staff mentioned it will no longer renew the contract of its head trainer, Katie Smith, 45, who was once increased to the location in 2018 after serving as an assistant and affiliate head trainer since 2014. The staff was once 10-24 this yr, after a 7-27 file in her first season as head trainer.
Barclays might be an enormous improve for the Liberty. The staff performed the previous two seasons on the Westchester County Middle, the place capability was once round 2,000.
The transfer to Westchester got here because the staff’s former proprietor, James L. Dolan, was once taking a look to promote the staff and lower your expenses. Taking part in at Madison Sq. Lawn — the Liberty’s house for as a rule for the reason that franchise was once shaped in 1997 — value about 20 occasions greater than taking part in in White Plains, N.Y.
“With lots of our lovers primarily based within the 5 boroughs, shifting to Barclays Middle will make the Liberty extra centrally positioned, permitting us to deliver again the unique fan base and draw in new supporters,” mentioned David Levy, leader govt of the Nets and Barclays Middle, in addition to president of J Tsai Sports activities. “The venue trade, along side the primary select within the 2020 W.N.B.A. draft, has situated the staff for a thrilling long run.”
The Liberty additionally had a top select within the 2019 draft and decided on Asia Durr, who was once injured for part of the season, at No. 2 over all.
Levy mentioned the possession workforce checked out a couple of different venues, however it was once obvious Barclays was once the fitting position. “We wouldn’t have executed this if we didn’t assume it will be winning,” he mentioned.
Barclays will open the decrease bowl for many video games, making a capability of greater than eight,000, with the solution to make bigger. The Liberty performed one regular-season sport towards Seattle in Barclays this yr, and it drew 7,715 lovers.
Keia Clarke, the Liberty’s leader running officer, mentioned the ladies’s staff would proportion many belongings with the Nets. The body of workers may have places of work on the Nets’ coaching facility.
“We’ve been a staff in flux,” she mentioned. “To have a house and to in spite of everything plant roots feels truly excellent.”
Something that received’t trade is the staff’s title.
“We thought of it, however that’s a storied franchise and it was once probably the most unique groups, probably the most well known W.N.B.A. groups.” Levy mentioned. “Why would you convert that title? A large number of lovers love that logo title.”