What we know about the new Liberty ownership.
On Jan. 9, it was initially reported by Doug Feinberg and the Associated Press that Brooklyn Nets minority owner Joseph Tsai was closing in on a deal to buy the New York Liberty. What was less known at the time was where the Liberty would call home if the deal came together.
On Wednesday, WNBA Interim President Mark Tatum announced that Tsai has been “unanimously approved” to purchase the Liberty. For 2019, home games will remain at the Westchester County Center. Sometime this summer, they will host a Comm-UNITY Day at Barclays Center.
In light of this news, the WNBPA also released a statement regarding the sale of the Liberty. Executive Director Terri Jackson expressed excitement and added how Tsai’s support “again shows that there is interest and excitement around our league and our players and a renewed commitment to women in sports.”
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Tsai seems to get it when it comes to generating excitement to grow the league, commenting on how the WNBA and its players double as world-class athletes and exemplary role models in their local communities.
“Our goal is to continue this important work and help bring the WNBA into its next phase of growth,” Tsai said.
Tsai walks the talk, too.
He and his wife have been heavily involved in the New York Community, supporting programs like the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, NYC Police Foundation’s youth mentorship program, criminal justice reform through the Reform Alliance and education Harlem Academy.
When it comes to growth, being able to officially and forever call Barclays Center home of the New York Liberty would also help immensely. Game-day environments are ever-evolving to keep the average fan’s attention, but an arena with a big feel is often a gamechanger.
Although anything is a huge step up from Westchester County Center, Barclays under Tsai’s ownership would change the trajectory of the franchise long-term.