WNBA Monarchs fold, could be headed to Oakland

After a 12-year run as a charter franchise in the WNBA, the Maloof family suddenly closed up shop with the Sacramento Monarchs, citing financial concerns. This leaves the WNBA at least temporarily with 12 teams, and the Maloofs with one less loose end should they try to bolt from Sactown. At least one player learned of the team’s ignominious fate via Twitter.

That doesn’t mean that women’s pro hoops are leaving the NorCal market. Apparently, Oakland city council member Rebecca Kaplan has been pushing hard to get a WNBA team at the Coliseum, and the exit of the Monarchs may provide such an opening. Similar talk has existed in the past regarding San Jose, but SVSE head honcho Greg Jamison denied any discussions. The Bay Area has been a great market for women’s hoops in the past, but the lack of a WNBA franchise always seemed puzzling. Was it the NBA exacting penance for San Jose having the Lasers? Or was Chris Cohan simply disinterested in sponsoring a WNBA franchise? Whatever the case, it would be great to have a new team in Oakland to tap into the fanbase and help pay for rent at Oracle Arena to boot.

10 Responses to WNBA Monarchs fold, could be headed to Oakland

  1. Navigator says:

    Having a team in Oakland would be great. However, what I think Oakland really needs is a pro soccer franchise. Soccer has been very successful at the Oakland Coliseum recently with 50,000 fans turning out for international soccer matches. Also, the Earthquakes have drawn great crowds at the Oakland Coliseum.

  2. Marine Layer says:

    Nav, I suggest you read up a little more on the MLS business model. The Coliseum is not a proper MLS venue. The big crowds there come from international exhibitions or friendlies. Those crowds can be had at any large stadium anywhere in the Bay Area. MLS is a totally different game, not top level and requiring a smaller venue (~20,000) without the benefit of immigrant fandom ties.

    Now let's get back on topic.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How many games do they play in the WNBA? Moving a team to the Coliseum might just bring usage there up to pretty close to optimum. That would be fantastic.

    Nav needs to read up a little on virtually everything s/he comments about on here.

  4. Dan says:

    Nav, not sure where they'd play a Division 2 soccer team in Oakland. It would not be an MLS team since the Earthquakes own the rights to all of NorCal in that league (and MLS wouldn't put a second team in the Bay Area when they have so many other markets to expand into) so it would have to be either a USL or the new Div 2 league that started up last week team. Either way the Coliseum would be far too big for Division 2 soccer so they'd have to play at some smaller soccer friendly venue in Oakland if such a place exists.

    As for the Monarchs, sorry to see them fold after a largely successful 12 year run bringing Sacto their only top level pro sports championship. It would be interesting to see how a WNBA team would do in Oakland, hopefully the at least explore it.

  5. Marine Layer says:

    The WNBA season has 34 games, running opposite of the NBA schedule so as to avoid conflicts. That should work well with the playoffs-averse Warriors.

    KGO and KNBR are long-time "clear channel" stations that receive special protection against interference. Proverbially, it's their world and everyone else is just a squirrel trying to get a nut.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oakland needs to stop being greedy and stealing teams.

  7. Pork chops and applesauce says:

    I think you mean a WNBA team at the Oracle Arena. Doubt outdoor basketball would go to well at the Coliseum.

  8. grasbanc says:

    Anonymous said…
    "Oakland needs to stop being greedy and stealing teams."

    Kansas City is still fuming about the theft of the A's.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This should have been a perfect opportunity for San Jose and HP Pavilion.

    And the San Jose supporters can't blame territorial rights this time.

  10. Dan says:

    Anon 5:57, you're assuming that SVSE wants a women's basketball team. No offense to the ladies, but they're not exactly a hot draw these days. The entire league seems to be bleeding what little fans they have left these days and is at this point is no longer self sufficent and is entirely subsidized by the NBA. I mean hell the winners of 8 of the league's 12 championships (Houston, Detroit and now Sacto) have folded in the last 2 years. Seems like something I'd want to rush to invest in.

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