The influx of professional sports in Las Vegas continues, as the WNBA will relocate the San Antonio Stars here starting in the 2018 season. Here are seven things to know.
The WNBA franchise will be known as the Las Vegas Aces. The team colors of red, black and gold will mirror the colors of the sports teams currently in Las Vegas.
“We wanted a brand that provided immediate recognition of Las Vegas, and one that our players would be proud to wear on their jerseys,” MGM Resorts International president Bill Hornbuckle said at a press conference on Monday.
This is the second time the franchise has relocated, as the original team was in Utah and nicknamed the Starzz before moving to San Antonio in 2003.
Basketball On The Strip
Sports are invading the Las Vegas Strip, and the WNBA will be no different. The Aces will play their games at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, which has a capacity of 12,000. The WNBA season begins in May, with the WNBA Finals wrapping up in early October.
Not only will the Aces play on the Strip, but the team is now owned by MGM Resorts International. The WNBA partnering with MGM could be foreshadowing a potential move by the NBA to put a team in Las Vegas if the WNBA’s relocation goes smoothly.
“This community can and will rally behind a sports franchise, and we are hungry for more,” Hornbuckle said.
No. 1 Picks
The Aces will have the top pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft. Las Vegas won the 2018 WNBA Draft Lottery, after the team finished last season with the worst record in the league at 15-53. The San Antonio Stars were the worst team in 2016, and landed the top pick in the 2017 draft and selected Kelsey Plum, who holds the NCAA Division I women’s basketball record for most career points.
Former NBA Star In Charge
The head coach of the Aces will be Bill Laimbeer, a four-time NBA All-Star. Laimbeer won two NBA titles with the Pistons during his 14-year professional career, but his pedigree goes far beyond his playing days. Laimbeer coached the Detroit Shock to three WNBA titles, and most recently led the New York Liberty to the best record in the Eastern Conference the past three seasons.
As of today, the WNBA is taking deposits for season tickets starting at $100. The cost of the cheapest ticket will be $20 per game. Plus, center court seats will start at $65. You can place a deposit here.
Lady Rebel Coming Home
The Aces relocation to Las Vegas creates a homecoming for Sequoia Holmes, who went to Mojave High School and played at UNLV from 2004-2008. In her senior year as a Rebel, she averaged a team-high 18.3 points. In 27 games for San Antonio last season, she averaged 3.3 points per game.