And now, here’s yoooooouuuuurrrr Brooklyn Liberty!
Next summer another basketball team will arrive in the borough of Brooklyn. At the start of the 2020 WNBA season, the New York Liberty will officially play all of their home games at the Barclays Center.
This change in venue comes after the team was acquired from Knicks owner James Dolan by Joseph Tsai––owner of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center––in January 2019. Dolan owned the liberty for 22 years before selling to Tsai.
For the past two seasons, the Liberty played at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York. Prior to that the franchise, which was formed in 1997, played 11 seasons at Madison Square Garden––the mecca of basketball–– before being banished to White Plains in 2018, by Dolan.
The arrival of the team at the Barclays Center, coupled with the first pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft sparks an exciting outlook for the future of the franchise, which has already had tremendous success during their 23-year existence.
“We are committed to the Liberty’s long-term success in New York and relocating the team to Brooklyn will provide the franchise with tremendous opportunity,” said David Levy, CEO of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center. “With many of our fans based in the five boroughs, moving to Barclays Center will make the Liberty more centrally located, allowing us to bring back the original fan base and attract new supporters.”
The move also brings one of the WNBA’s most popular teams back into a major market, showing not only a dedication to winning, but a focus on bringing WNBA basketball to the fans that lost the team in 2018.
“The New York Liberty are part of the foundation of the W and have many of the most accomplished players and passionate fans since the inaugural season,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “Barclays Center is the perfect venue to host New York’s team and showcase world-class women’s basketball. This move is key to driving the league to the next level.”
During their two seasons at the Westchester County Center, the team was able to host a maximum of 2,100 fans for home games. Playing at the Barclays Center will also expand the teams capacity to hold more than 8,000 fans than last season, with a major opportunity for growth in attendance.
The Liberty are also expected to take Oregon point guard Sabrina Ionescu with the first pick in the 2020 Draft, which will be held at the Barclays Center in April of next year. Last season for the Ducks, Ionescu averaged 20 points, 8.2 assists and 7.4 rebounds per game. A pairing of Ionescu with standout rookie guard Asia Durr, who averaged 9.7 points during her rookie year, would give the Liberty a tough scoring backcourt and another reason to look forward to the teams future.