The WNBA and NBA Board of Governors unanimously approve relocation of San Antonio Stars to Las Vegas
As rumored since it was revealed Thursday that the San Antonio Stars were relocating, Las Vegas will be the new city for the team. Season ticket-holders of the Stars voiced their opinions recently about the move, expressing dismay and anger. It will be the third city for the Stars, a franchise that started in Salt Lake City in 1997. In December 2002, the league announced that the Starzz would be moving to San Antonio. The new owner is global hospitality and entertainment company, MGM Resorts International.
Former New York Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer will lead the team as president of basketball operations and head coach. Katie Smith takes over as head coach of the Liberty. The new Las Vegas team will begin taking season ticket-holder deposits in early November.
The new home for the Las Vegas team, Mandalay Bay Events Center, is a “modern 12,000-seat sports and entertainment complex” that has hosted concerts, UFC events and basketball games. It will host the Play4Kay Showcase during the Thanksgiving holiday featuring DePaul, Florida Gulf Coast, Ohio State, Memphis, Stanford, Kent State, Gonzaga and Belmont.
From the league:
The WNBA and NBA Board of Governors have unanimously approved the relocation of the San Antonio Stars to Las Vegas, WNBA President Lisa Borders announced today. MGM Resorts International will own and operate the team, which will begin play in Las Vegas in the 2018 season. The team’s home arena will be the Mandalay Bay Events Center, one of the city’s premier entertainment venues, having hosted major concert and sports events since opening in 1999.
“We are thrilled to bring the first major professional basketball team to Las Vegas,” said Borders. “This city and MGM Resorts are synonymous with world-class entertainment. With its culture of diversity and inclusion, MGM Resorts is an ideal fit for the WNBA.”
A leading entertainment and hospitality company, MGM Resorts International is renowned for its resorts and entertainment venues around the globe. The company is based in Las Vegas, which sees more than 43 million visitors from around the world annually. MGM Resorts’ brands include the iconic Bellagio, Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand, and the company has a storied history of hosting many of the city’s biggest entertainment and sporting events.
Lilian Tomovich, the company’s Chief Experience & Marketing Officer, said, “We are delighted to welcome the WNBA as our newest partner in professional sports. We appreciate, now more than ever, the league’s confidence in Las Vegas and believe the team will be a tremendous addition to the city.”
Las Vegas Roster (End of 2017 Season)
Kayla Alexander – C
Cierra Burdick – F
Nia Coffey – F
Sydney Colson – G
Dearica Hamby – F
Isabelle Harrison – C
Sequoia Holmes – G
Moriah Jefferson – G
Kayla McBride – G
Alex Montgomery – G/F
Shay Murphy – G
Kelsey Plum – G