Group Led by Nets Co-Owner Nears Deal for W.N.B.A.’s Liberty

One of the W.N.B.A.’s original franchises could soon have a new owner. An investment group led by the billionaire Joseph C. Tsai, who completed the purchase of a 49 percent stake in the Nets in April, is close to an agreement to purchase the Liberty, according to a person briefed on the negotiations who was not authorized to comment publicly.

The Madison Square Garden Company, which owns the Liberty as well as the Knicks, the Rangers and Madison Square Garden itself, announced 14 months ago that it was seeking to sell the team. It said the team had lost money in each year of its existence, a deficit of more than $100 million in total. After playing its first 21 seasons at the Garden, the Liberty spent last season in the decidedly less glamorous Westchester County Center in White Plains.

It is not yet clear whether Tsai’s group will seek to rebrand the Liberty or have them play elsewhere. The W.N.B.A. season begins in May, and the team’s schedule currently has them playing their home games in White Plains.

In response to a request for comment, the Madison Square Garden Company pointed to a statement it had given previously: “MSG is continuing to work closely with the W.N.B.A. to find the right steward for the team moving forward.”


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