It's official, the Shock is leaving Tulsa.
WNBA owners unanimously approved the relocation of the Tulsa Shock to the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. The team will finish the current season in Tulsa before beginning play in Arlington in 2016.
It certainly didn't take long, the news comes just three after the Shock announced their intentions to leave Tulsa for the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
7/20/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Shock Owner Announces Plans To Move Team
The Shock will play at College Park Center on the University of Texas at Arlington campus, subject to approval by the University of Texas System’s Board of Regents. Additional information about the team will be forthcoming.
Thursday the WNBA Board of Governors unanimously approved the move, and now it's officially a lame-duck season for the team in Tulsa.
“The WNBA is extremely grateful to the city of Tulsa and the team’s loyal fans. The support they have shown for the Shock and women’s professional basketball over the past six seasons has been tremendous,” WNBA President Laurel J. Richie said. “We look forward to having our first team based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”
Shock majority owner Bill Cameron said, in a statement:
“Today is a truly exciting day, and we thank the WNBA for its support in approving the relocation to the Dallas-Fort Worth marketplace. We are thrilled to join one of the most prolific sports regions in the country, with a fan base that has a genuine love for their professional sports teams.
“As the largest underserved market for women’s sports, this relocation to the DFW metroplex presents significant opportunities to reach an expansive and diverse consumer marketplace that has a proven affinity for women’s basketball, many potential sponsors and access to the nation’s fifth biggest media market.
“As we enter the second half of the season, we remain committed to the success of the team. We will continue to give our players, coaches and staff the support they need to compete and finish strong. We will work to ensure our fans, sponsors and partners enjoy a quality basketball and entertainment experience. I appreciate the local support for the Shock in Tulsa, especially the support from our fans, sponsors and partners over the years. Detailed transition plans for the DFW relocation will be announced at a later date.”
The news comes during the most successful season the team has had since moving to Tulsa. The Shock is 10-8 and in third place in the west - the team has nine home games remaining at the BOK Center.
In a lawsuit filed Monday, minority owner Stuart Price alleged that when he invested $250,000 to become part-owner of the team, it was represented that the Tulsa Shock would "remain in Tulsa," but details of the relocation were "concealed from the minority owners" of the team.
7/20/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Shock Minority Owner Files Lawsuit Over Relocation Plans
In response to whether the lawsuit filed will proceed, Stuart released a statement saying:
“Absolutely the litigation will continue! We have sent document requests to the defendants. The facts of the defendants' self-dealing, unprincipled pattern of behavior and fraudulent activities remain to be determined by the Tulsa County District Court."
Stuart also said:
"In the meantime, I call on all Shock fans and Tulsans to attend this season’s last nine home games and playoffs and watch these great players perform at the highest level of athleticism and class.
"The players and coaches deserve our support, cheers and respect as they continue on this incredible play-off run for which we have the good fortune to witness.”