New York Liberty Announce Barclays Center Will Be Home Venue Starting in 2020

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2019

New York Liberty guard Bria Hartley drives down court during the first half of a WNBA basketball game against the Minnesota Lynx, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in White Plains, N.Y. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

The New York Liberty are changing venues, moving to Brooklyn's Barclays Center starting in the 2020 season. 

"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," WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in the league's press release. "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."

The Barclays Center will be the Liberty's fourth venue since the league's inception in 1997. They played the past two seasons at the Westchester County Center and had Madison Square Garden and the Prudential Center serve as their home venue in the past as well.

The team will also be under new leadership in 2020, with Brooklyn Nets governor Joseph Tsai acquiring the Liberty in 2019. 

The Liberty are one of the WNBA's original franchises and also one of its most decorated, having reached the WNBA Finals in four of the league's first six seasons. While the Liberty have never won a title, they've reached the postseason 15 times and the Eastern Conference Finals on nine occasions. 

The team will be attempting to end a two-year playoff drought, however. The team announced Wednesday it would not be bringing back head coach Katie Smith, who had presided over that playoff drought.

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"On behalf of the entire Liberty organization, we want to thank Katie for her time with our franchise," general manager Jonathan Kolb said in a team statement. "These decisions are never easy to make, but we felt it necessary to move our organization forward in a new direction. We wish her all the best."

The Liberty went just 17-51 under Smith.

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