The Sacramento Monarchs folded on Friday, and an Oakland councilwoman said talks are under way with WNBA officials to relocate the team to Oracle Arena.
The decision was a shocking and disappointing development for the WNBA and one of its original eight franchises and largely based on the Maloof family's desire to focus all its energy and efforts on the NBA's Sacramento Kings. Maloof Sports & Entertainment had owned both teams.
Now, the WNBA is left scurrying to try to find a new owner for the organization and a suitable market. Oakland councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, who has been pushing the idea to have a team based in Oakland, told Bay Area News Group that the league is "very serious about this."
WNBA president Donna Orender said in a statement that the league is in discussions with potential investors to relocate the Monarchs in time for next season.
"The Bay Area has been a desirable market for the WNBA and the availability of the Monarchs provides an opportunity to move a well-known franchise and broaden its fan base within Northern California," Orender said in the statement.
The Warriors would not be part of the ownership group, Kaplan said. She declined to identify investors. The club would have to reach agreements with Oakland and Alameda County officials before it could call Oracle Arena home.
Kaplan said moving to Oakland would allow the Monarchs to keep their fan base because of the city's proximity to Sacramento. The 12-22 Monarchs were led last season by Nicole Powell, a Stanford All-American. Their top draft pick was Courtney Paris of Piedmont. The team, if revived, would have the No. 2 pick in next year's draft.
The Monarchs franchise was one of the league's original eight teams, and it won the WNBA championship in 2005 and the Western Conference title the following season.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.