Rockets Owner Tilman Fertitta Interested in Bringing WNBA Team Back to Houston

Houston has not had a WNBA franchise since 2008.
Feb 2, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta walks on the court during
Feb 2, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta walks on the court during / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta believes that he is a natural fit for ownership of a new WNBA franchise in Houston if the league were to expand from 12 to 16 teams by the 2028 season.

Fertitta would be interested in being an integral part in the team's return, he told the Houston Chronicle.

"I feel like WNBA expansion is going to always work better and has a better chance of success in a city like Houston, where the Rockets are one of the strong teams from a financial standpoint," Fertitta said. "I think that I would probably be the natural owner."

Fertitta told the Houston Chronicle that he planned to register interest with the WNBA in the coming weeks.

League expansion is beginning this season with a new franchise in Oakland, Ca. WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert told reporters at the draft last month that expansion can be complex.

A WNBA team in Houston would not be new. The Houston Comets were one of the original eight WNBA franchises, and won the first four WNBA titles in 1997, '98. '99 and '00. Comets owner Hilton Koch put the team up for sale in 2008, and the WNBA took over operations after no investors met Koch's $10 million purchase price. The franchise was disbanded and has not been part of the league since.


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Mike McDaniel

MIKE MCDANIEL

Mike McDaniel is a writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated, where he has worked since January 2022. His work has been featured at InsideTheACC.com, SB Nation, FanSided, and more. Mike hosts the Hokie Hangover Podcast, covering Virginia Tech athletics, as well as Basketball Conference: The ACC Football Podcast. Outside of his professional life, he is a husband, father, and an avid golfer.