The New York Liberty will be dribbling into Brooklyn next year.
The city’s premier professional women’s basketball team will be relocating from the distant suburbs of Westchester to Barclays Center in time for the 2020 season after billionaire entrepreneur Joseph Tsia — who also owns the arena and the Brooklyn Nets — purchased the WNBA team in January.
Barclays Center’s president and CEO said the move to Kings County will help grow the team’s following in the area.
“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,” said David Levy.
In addition to the new location, the Liberty also boast the first pick in the upcoming WNBA draft next April, giving the team an injection of young talent to help the team’s on-court success — which will come as a welcome development after a measly 10-and-24 record last season.
The move to Barclays will also expand the potential audience to 8,000 seats per-game, compared to the 2,100-seat capacity of the Westchester arena where the team played last season.
Tsia — the Tawianese-Candian co-founder of Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba — came under fire earlier this month for blasting a fellow basketball executive for his support of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
The 2020 WNBA season will tip-off next May.