NEW YORK (AP) – New York Liberty will have a new home next year, playing its games at Barclays Center.
Liberty team executives told the Associated Press on Thursday that the franchise will host all of its home contests at the Brooklyn arena, which houses the Nets. The building was recently purchased by Liberty owner Joe Tsai, who also owns the Nets.
Playing at Barclays Center is a major upgrade for Liberty, who has played for the past two seasons at Westchester County Center, where capacity has been set for just over 2,000 fans. Liberty rarely sold games in Westchester. The move to Westchester came as former owner James Dolan sought to sell the team and save money. Playing at Madison Square Garden – Liberty's home most of the time since the franchise was formed in 1997 – has cost about 20 times more than playing at Westchester.
David Levy, CEO of Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, as well as president of J Tsai Sports, says the owners group made the models and would not move to Barclays if they thought it would not be profitable.
Barclays will open the bottom bowl for most games, creating a capacity of over 8,000 people with the option to expand if needed. New York played a regular-season game against Seattle at Barclays last season and tied well, with 7,715 fans in attendance.
The team will have a new coach in charge after Liberty decided not to renew Katie Smith's contract on Wednesday.
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