By The Sports Xchange – UPI
The San Antonio Stars are on the verge of moving to Las Vegas.
Spurs Sports & Entertainment, which owns the San Antonio-based WNBA franchise, has an agreement in place to sell the team to an unnamed buyer who plans to relocate the team to Nevada, sources told ESPN on Thursday night.
The Stars’ ownership group issued a statement Thursday night on the team’s Twitter account confirming the existence of ongoing negotiations.
“On behalf of Spurs Sports & Entertainment ownership, management, and staff, we are all very thankful to the wonderful Stars fans, season ticket members and corporate partners who have supported the team over the last 15 years,” the statement read in part.
“This was an extremely difficult decision as all of us at SS&E are proud of what the Stars have accomplished on the court and in the San Antonio community.”
The Stars, one of the WNBA’s original eight franchises, moved to San Antonio in 2002 after spending their first six seasons playing in Salt Lake City as the Utah Starzz.
The Stars’ franchise owns a .418 winning percentage with one trip to the WNBA Finals in 2008, when they were swept in three games by the then-Detroit Shock.
San Antonio finished the 2017 season with the league’s worst record at 8-26, marking the third consecutive season the Stars have posted the worst mark in the league.
The Stars last reached the postseason in 2014 and have not posted a winning record since 2012.
Last year, the Stars were awarded the No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft and selected Washington’s Kelsey Plum. After finishing with the league’s worst record again this season, they have the best odds to land the top pick again in the upcoming WNBA draft lottery.
Should the sale and relocation be completed, the Stars would join the NHL’s Golden Knights, an expansion team, and the NFL’s Raiders as the city’s major sports franchises.
The Golden Knights began play in Las Vegas this season, while the Raiders are scheduled to move from Oakland in either 2019 or 2020.