Tulsa Shock majority owner, Bill Cameron, announced plans to move the Shock to Dallas as early as next season.
Cameron, who moved the Shock to Tulsa from Detroit in 2010, said that the team has had consecutive years of operating losses. The Shock had the lowest attendance in the league in 2014, and attendance has reportedly gone down in 2015.
The WNBA’s 12-member board of governors needs to approve the request by majority vote.
Despite losing superstar guard Skylar Diggins nine games into the season, the Shock are 10-7 and on track to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
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Tulsa Shock majority owner Bill Cameron solidified more than a week’s worth of rumors Monday, announcing in a press release his plans to relocate the team to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Shock minority owner Stuart Price fired back Monday evening, holding a press conference to announce that he had filed a lawsuit against Cameron. Price accused Cameron of using Tulsa to “incubate” the franchise before moving it to Dallas, saying the city had been “wronged in a lot of respects.”
The move is contingent upon approval by the league’s Board of Governors, which is composed of owners or executive representatives from each of the 12 teams in the league. Each team, including the Shock, has one vote, and approval would require seven votes in favor of the move.
Cameron asked that the WNBA submit the request to the board as soon as possible. He cited the larger fan base and increased corporate sponsorship pool in a top-five media market as reasons for the move.
“I am proud of the team and the organization and know they will stay focused on making this a winning season,” Cameron said in a release. “I am thankful for the support we have received from the city of Tulsa, Mayors (Kathy) Taylor and (Dewey) Bartlett, local fans and sponsors over the past six years. I appreciate the Tulsa investors who stepped up at a critical time to help me bring the Shock to Tulsa from Detroit in 2010.
“This is a very difficult decision, and I know it is particularly difficult for the Tulsa investors,” he said. “From a business perspective, it was necessary to evaluate options to place the team and the organization in the best position to achieve financial success. After a thorough review, I believe the Dallas-Fort Worth area holds the greatest potential to achieve our long-term business objectives.”