Westchester Just Scored Its Second Professional Basketball Franchise
The NY Liberty come to town — and decide to stay. COO Keia Clarke tells us why.
Move over, Manhattan — Westchester County just scored its second professional basketball franchise. The Westchester Knicks got the party started in 2014, but as of May, the WNBA’s New York Liberty also calls the County Center in White Plains home for 17 games. Led by legendary Coach Katie Smith, Westchester’s newest hoopsters will no doubt thrill fans, as well as bring some additional revenue to the County Center. We spoke to Liberty COO Keia Clarke about why the team chose Westchester.
On cost: “There are obvious costs that are associated with playing at Madison Square Garden… [that are] just not economically favorable. This [move to Westchester] is really about securing a long-term future for the business. Just using a smaller venue, not in the middle of Manhattan, we will have some expense savings.”
On fans: “We hope to maintain support from existing fans while attracting new fans who may or may not have been traveling from the city.”
On players: “Our team lives and has always practiced in Westchester County [at the MSG Training Center in Tarrytown], so in that regard it should be a pretty easy transition for them.”
On Westchester: “We’re really looking forward to being part of this Westchester community and playing at the County Center. We see plenty of positives in moving to a community that will truly embrace our team and see these women as role models and as leaders on and off the court.”