The owner of the WNBA’s San Antonio Stars has an agreement in place with a buyer who plans to move the team to Las Vegas, a source told ESPN’s Michael C. Wright on Thursday night.
The sale and relocation now hinge on a final approval from the NBA and WNBA Board of Governors, the source said. The sides expect the deal, which has been in the works for some time, to be OK’d because the team will be moved to Las Vegas, according to the source.
The Stars are one of five pro teams owned and operated by Spurs Sports & Entertainment, including San Antonio’s NBA team.
WNBA spokeswoman Dina Skokos confirmed in a statement that there are ongoing talks to sell the franchise but provided no details about the negotiations.
Without specifying the potential Las Vegas buyer, Spurs Sports & Entertainment sent out a message to fans on Twitter, offering its “deepest gratitude” to team employees and fans while saying the organization and the WNBA have been in negotiations with a buyer to purchase and relocate the Stars. A spokesman for Spurs Sports & Entertainment declined comment on a pending Las Vegas move.
The San Antonio Express-News and The Associated Press earlier reported the Stars’ potential sale.
The Stars franchise was one of the original eight in the WNBA, but was initially located in Utah and called the Starzz. They played in Salt Lake City for six seasons, then moved to San Antonio for the 2003 season and were called the Silver Stars, which was later shorted to Stars.
San Antonio’s peak in the league was a trip to the 2008 WNBA Finals, where the Stars lost 3-0 to Detroit.
San Antonio finished last in the WNBA at 8-26 this season, the third year in a row that the Stars have had the worst record in the league. Their last playoff appearance was in 2014, when current Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon played her final season with the Stars.
San Antonio was 16-18 that year; the Stars’ last winning record came in 2012, when they were 21-13.
The Stars had the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft in 2017 and picked Washington’s Kelsey Plum. They also have the best odds to get the 2018 No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft lottery, which was abruptly postponed in September and hasn’t yet been rescheduled.
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel was used in this report.