The Liberty quietly resigned Tina Charles on Friday and now that she’s put to paper (or fingernail to iPad screen), the 6’3” veteran wants to know where the Liberty will be playing its home games after this season. And on Tuesday, at the Liberty Media Day, she left little doubt about where she wants to play: Barclays Center.
“I think them moving us to Brooklyn and practicing and having us live in Brooklyn, that’s definitely a hope factor that change will come,” Charles told Brian Heyman of Newsday. “But it’s just a matter of when.”
Asked how she feels about Nets minority owner Joe Tsai becoming the Liberty owner back in January, Charles replied, “As long as it reflects that we eventually end up playing at Barclays. That’s the big thing, right?”
Under James Dolan, the Liberty moved last season from Madison Square Garden, where it has long had a fan base, to Westchester County Center last year, part of Dolan’s cost-cutting as he tried to sell the team. The result was the Liberty’s worst season and attendance that was paltry as New York fans failed to make the commute to White Plains.
The Liberty will play all but one game in Westchester this season. The question is where they’ll play in 2020-21.
The Liberty averaged 1,886 fans in 15 games last season at the County Center, which had a capacity of 2,319 for their games, Heyman reports.
“Hopefully, the New York Liberty will be back in the city and they’ll be able to have access to us,” Charles told Newsday. She also added that the Barclays Center ”would be the only other ideal place that’s suitable for a professional women’s basketball team.”
There are more than subtle hints that that’s the plan: combining Tsai’s two franchises at Barclays. As Charles noted, the team’s players are being encouraged to live in Brooklyn and instead of practicing and training at the MSG Training Center in Westchester, they’re now working out at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn, not far from Barclays.
And its promotion for Thursday’s game between the Liberty and the Chinese Women’s National Team, which Tsai has promoted, there was this...
“The first look at 2019 New York Liberty team will come Thursday, May 9 at 7 p.m., when Liberty host Chinese Women’s National Team, also marking the first time the Liberty will play on its new home court at the Barclays Center.”
The Liberty, who have 18 home dates annually plus the playoffs, would have to work out a deal with Mikhail Prokhorov’s BSE Global to play at Flatbush and Atlantic. Tsai bought 49 percent of the Nets a year ago with an option to buy control in 2021, but has no current financial interest in Barclays.
Charles was also in the news this week for another reason. Her documentary on her father, Rawlston Charles, debuts at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival. Charles is honoring her father’s role in the New York music scene where he popularized soca and calypso music, which is very popular in his native Trinidad and Tobago. His record company and record store was based, where else, in Brooklyn.
- Liberty hopeful for future with new ownership group - Brian Heyman - Newsday
- Liberty’s Charles will debut film at Tribeca - Barbara Barker - Newsday