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WNBA, NBA Board of Governors Approve Las Vegas Aces Sale to Raiders' Mark Davis

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2021

Oakland Raiders owner Mark Clark Davis watches prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Las Vegas Aces announced Friday that the WNBA and NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved the sale of the Aces franchise to Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis

Las Vegas Aces @LVAces

OFFICIAL: The @WNBA and @NBA Board of Governors have unanimously approved the sale of the Las Vegas Aces from MGM Resorts International to new owner Mark Davis, it was announced today by WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. https://t.co/ArTCSsFhrL

Davis, who has owned the Raiders franchise since the death of his father, Al Davis, in 2011, purchased the Aces from MGM Grand International.

He now owns two professional sports franchises in Vegas after moving the Raiders from Oakland to Las Vegas in 2020.

The Aces have been in Las Vegas since 2018 after a number of relocations. The franchise began as the Utah Starzz in 1997, which was one of the original WNBA franchises, and then moved to San Antonio in 2003 and became the Silver Stars before moving to Vegas.

In the franchise's first 21 years of existence before moving to Las Vegas, it reached the WNBA Finals once, losing to the Detroit Shock in 2008.

Since the move to Vegas, however, the Aces have become one of the league's premier franchises.

Las Vegas went 21-13 in 2019 and reached the conference finals before falling to the Washington Mystics. Then, last season, despite being without star center Liz Cambage who opted out of the campaign, the Aces made it to the WNBA Finals after an 18-4 regular season but were swept by the Seattle Storm.

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With head coach Bill Laimbeer and reigning WNBA MVP A'ja Wilson leading the way, Vegas may be the favorite to win it all in 2021.

The Aces are stacked with top-flight talent in the form of All-Stars Wilson, Cambage and Angel McCoughtry. They also have two young, rising stars at guard in Jackie Young and Kelsey Plum and added guards Chelsea Gray and Riquna Williams in free agency.

Las Vegas is set up to be a championship contender for many years to come, and with the funding of Davis now backing the team, it stands to reason that everything possible will be done to not win only one title, but multiple championships.

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