WNBA approves relocation of Shock from Tulsa to Dallas-Fort Worth
WNBA owners unanimously approved the relocation of the Tulsa Shock to the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. The team will finish the current season in Tulsa before beginning play in Arlington in 2016.
|Lawsuit against Shock to proceed
Shock minority owner Stuart Price’s response to WNBA approval of Shock move:
“Absolutely the litigation will continue. We have sent document requests to the defendants. The facts of the defendants’ self-dealing, unprincipled pattern of behavior and fraudulent activities remain to be determined by the Tulsa County District Court.”
“In the meantime, I call on all Shock fans and Tulsans to attend this season’s last nine home games and playoffs and watch these great players perform at the highest level of athleticism and class.”
“The players and coaches deserve our support, cheers and respect as they continue on this incredible playoff run for which we have the good fortune to witness.”
Rumors began to surface that the team owners were planning the move earlier this month. Fans quickly galvanized a “Save Our Shock” campaign and minority owner, Stuart Price, announced that he would file a lawsuit to block the move. Tensions ran high between the team majority owners and loyal supporters that included not only fans but the current and former mayors of Tulsa. Shock owners revealed their plans in an announcement on July 20.
“The WNBA is extremely grateful to the city of Tulsa and the team’s loyal fans. The support they have shown for the Shock and women’s professional basketball over the past six seasons has been tremendous,” said WNBA president Laurel J. Richie in a statement. “We look forward to having our first team based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”
Dallas-Fort Worth is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the U.S. and among the top five in national media markets. Arlington is also home to the NFL Dallas Cowboys and the MLB Texas Rangers.
The Shock will play at the College Park Center on the University of Texas at Arlington campus, subject to approval by the University of Texas System’s Board of Regents. The College Park Center has a capacity of 7,000. The population of Arlington is 379,577 according to U.S. Census data. The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan statistical area consists of 12 counties with a population of 6,700,991. Tulsa’s population is 398,121, per current Census data.
“As an organization, we are working together in support of our staff, players and coaches to complete this season in a strong way for our fans and sponsors in Tulsa,” said Shock president Steve Swetoha earlier this week. “We are especially appreciative to our season ticket holders and partners for their dedication to our team.”
The Shock is having its best season ever since moving to Tulsa. They have a 10-8 record heading into the All-Star break and are third in the Western Conference, five games ahead of fourth place San Antonio.