The move was announced last week by the Liberty. This decision comes one season after Brooklyn Nets majority owner Joseph Tsai purchased the team in January of this year from MSG owner James Dolan.
Tsai and the Liberty insist that it was in their best intentions to move the team to Barclays Center and share the building with the Brooklyn Nets to gain exposure for the program.
“We are committed to the Liberty’s long-term success in New York and relocating the team to Brooklyn will provide the franchise with tremendous opportunity,” said David Levy, who is CEO of the Nets and Barclays Center, as well as the president of J Tsai Sports, which operates the Liberty.
The Liberty had played an exhibition game at Barclays in May, along with a regular season contest against the Seattle Storm this past August.
“With many of our fans based in the five boroughs, moving to Barclays Center will make the Liberty more centrally located, allowing us to bring back the original fan base and attract new supporters,” added Levy. “The venue change, along with the first pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft, has positioned the team for an exciting future.”
This will be the first time the Liberty call an NBA arena home since 2017, when the team last played at MSG before moving to Westchester.
The team also holds the number-one overall pick in the upcoming WNBA Draft, which will take place shortly after the NCAA Tournament concludes the 2019-20 college basketball season in April.
The Liberty will be in the market for a new head coach after deciding not to bring back Hall of Fame player Katie Smith, who led the team to a 17-51 record over the last two seasons.
“The New York Liberty are part of the foundation of the W and have many of the most accomplished players and passionate fans since the inaugural season,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “Barclays Center is the perfect venue to host New York’s team and showcase world-class women’s basketball. This move is key to driving the league to the next level.”
Barclays Center has a capacity of over 18,000 people, and even after blocking off the top portion of the arena, Barclays will be able to hold well over 8,000 fans. In Westchester, the capacity for Liberty games was 2,100 people.