After days of news and speculation, the news is official: The San Antonio Stars have been sold and will relocate to Las Vegas in 2018.
MGM Resorts International will own and operate the team, who will play their home games in the 10,000 seat Mandalay Bay Events Center. The franchise will be the first professional basketball team in Las Vegas.
“Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world and we are in the entertainment business with the WNBA. As we close out our 21st season, another record season, we are always looking at what else can we do,” WNBA President Lisa Borders said. “How can we improve the product? How can we have more fans enjoy the product? How can we strengthen our franchises and strengthen our league?
“And so having the opportunity for a franchise to play in such an outstanding market as Las Vegas and partner with an owner and operator like the MGM Resorts International is amazing for us.”
The news comes after Spurs Sports and Entertainment confirmed the news of the sale on their social media accounts on Thursday night.
The Stars leave San Antonio after 15 seasons. Throughout their time in the Alamo City, they made seven WNBA Playoff appearances, one WNBA Finals appearance, and earned the 2008 Western Conference championship.
However, the last three seasons saw San Antonio finish with the league’s worst record. In 2015, the Stars ranked last in the WNBA in attendance with just 4,800 fans, but that was at Freeman Coliseum during AT&T Center renovations.
Las Vegas will get a young core of Kayla McBride, Moriah Jefferson, and Kelsey Plum with a bright future.