Apr 24, 2024 - News

WNBA's Wings could move to downtown Dallas

The Dallas Wings play in Arlington

The Wings are likely to move from College Park Center in Arlington to downtown Dallas. Photo: Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images

The Dallas City Council is scheduled to vote today on paying $19 million in incentives to the Dallas Wings in a 15-year deal to bring the WNBA to downtown.

Why it matters: This is the city's chance to attract one of its eponymous sports teams to play inside the town limits, instead of in Arlington or Frisco.

State of play: The Wings — like the rest of the WNBA — are growing in popularity. Moving to Dallas from Arlington can help the team attract more fans.

  • The team has sold out season ticket memberships for the first time and has seen a 220% increase in ticket sale revenue this year, per the Wings spokesperson.

The latest: If approved, the Wings would play at the renovated Dallas Memorial Auditorium starting in 2026. The auditorium redo is part of the larger plan to build a new convention center.

  • The arena has about 10,000 seats, more than the UT Arlington College Park Center where the Wings currently play.
  • Dallas' agreement with the Wings would include an estimated 3,000 parking spaces per game with 70% of parking revenues going to the city. The team would split concession revenue with the city. The Wings would keep all the revenue from team merchandise sold at games.

Flashback: Mayor Eric Johnson created a committee two years ago to attract and retain professional sports franchises with the hopes of keeping the Stars and Mavericks in Dallas and possibly get an NFL team.

  • The committee was tasked with assessing the economic impact the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers and Wings have on Arlington and FC Dallas has on Frisco.

What they're saying: "The possibilities of relocating to downtown Dallas are boundless," Dallas Wings president and CEO Greg Bibb said in a statement.

  • "The City of Dallas' proposal offers a fitting, world-class stage for our remarkable athletes and devoted fans," Bibb said.

The intrigue: The Stars and the Mavericks both end their leases at American Airlines Center in 2031.

  • The Mavs' new ownership has talked about building an arena in North Texas that would be part of a large, Vegas-like entertainment complex.

Fun fact: WNBA legend Sheryl Swoopes and renowned baller and coach Nancy Lieberman are joining this year's Wings broadcast team.

  • Lieberman was a rookie in 1980 when she was signed to the Dallas Diamonds, the city's first professional basketball team. The Diamonds played at SMU's Moody Coliseum after moving from the Dallas Convention Center — go figure.

What's next: The Wings host the Indiana Fever and Caitlin Clark for a preseason game next week in Arlington.

  • Dallas opens the season against the Chicago Sky on May 15.
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