University of Texas System Board of Regents approves agreement to bring Tulsa Shock to UT Arlington
The University of Texas System Board of Regents has approved an agreement that will enable the Tulsa Shock to play the next five seasons at the University of Texas at Arlington College Park Center beginning in 2016.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled about the relocation of a WNBA franchise to College Park Center in Arlington,” said UTA women’s basketball head coach Krista Gerlich. “This is a great advancement for women’s basketball in the Metroplex. The Metroplex is already a strong market for girls’ basketball. Those girls will have fantastic role models in those pro players.”
The team will host 17 regular season home games a year at College Park Center..
“This exciting opportunity is a perfect example of the value of the partnership with the City of Arlington in developing the College Park District and our state-of-the-art arena for both the institution and the surrounding area it serves,” said UTA president Vistasp M. Karbhari in a release. “We anticipate seeing basketball played at the highest level and look forward to the campus and community coming together to cheer on the community’s newest professional team,”
“Our student-athletes will benefit tremendously from access to and interaction with a major women’s sports organization and our student body will learn so much by observing how the team, its owners and the WNBA operate. We welcome them with open arms.”
Tulsa Shock owner Bill Cameron said the franchise is extremely pleased about the move.
“As the largest underserved market for women’s professional sports, and one of the most prolific sports towns in the U.S., we know the DFW Metroplex is ready for a WNBA franchise,” Cameron said. “We are excited to bring this team to fans throughout the region and honored to call College Park Center on The University of Texas at Arlington campus our new home.”
The 7,000-seat College Park Center opened in 2012 and is home to the UTA men’s and women’s basketball teams, and the women’s volleyball team. Because the WNBA season runs May through September, the collegiate and pro-basketball seasons will have minimal overlap.
The Center features two full-size practice gyms, state-of-the-art training facilities, high-tech audio/visual systems and an environmentally sensitive design that earned the building a LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.