UPDATED: Stars set to relocate from San Antonio; Las Vegas the destination?

SAN ANTONIO, TX - AUGUST 25: Kelsey Plum
SAN ANTONIO, TX - AUGUST 25: Kelsey Plum /

The San Antonio Stars are going to relocate to another city, the team confirmed Thursday night. Terrence Thomas of MySanAntonio.com reported it first Thursday evening, citing “a source close to the situation”.

A league source told The Summitt that the likely destination for the franchise is Las Vegas.

A spokesperson for the WNBA had this response: “Negotiations with a potential buyer of the Stars team are ongoing. Once those discussions are concluded, we will provide additional information.”

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Any franchise move or sale would require the approval of the league’s Board of Governors, but multiple players have been told the sale has already been agreed to, and there are many reasons why Vegas would be a particularly attractive destination for the league.

For a league whose center of gravity is generally east of the Mississippi river—only the Seattle Storm and Los Angeles Sparks are further west of Las Vegas—both the geographic balancing of such a move, not to mention the obvious appeal for many players, should drive Las Vegas as a destination team.

Moreover, despite a team featuring young stars like Kelsey Plum, Moriah Jefferson, Kayla McBride and Kayla Alexander, the Stars found themselves among the lower half of the league in attendance. As attitudes have changed about the stigma of gambling associated with Las Vegas, professional teams have rushed to the market, from the NHL’s expansion Golden Knights to the NFL’s Raiders shift.

Now the WNBA can get in on the action early, acting as a pace-setter under Lisa Borders in similar ways to the league’s embracing of broadcasts on Twitter. Moreover, the team can partner on a number of fronts with the NBA Summer League, which plays part of its schedule in Las Vegas as well. The rumors that have been swirling about the league’s All Star Game in Las Vegas in 2019 are likely to grow even louder.

The Stars relocated to San Antonio from Utah in 2003, first known as the Silver Stars in their Texas location. They reached the WNBA Finals in 2008.