Dallas Wings Will Be Flying High With New Downtown Digs

Written By Cheryl Coward on May 6, 2024
Caitlin Clark signing autographs after Dallas Wings game. The Wings are moving to the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Center in 2026.

Beginning in 2026, the Dallas Wings will embark on a new chapter with a bigger home in downtown Dallas.

The move from the College Park Center in Arlington to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas will come at a time when fan interest in the team, and the WNBA, is at an all-time high.

Several factors are contributing to the team’s renaissance, from the Caitlin Clark Effect to the rising popularity of women’s sports across the US.

A New Home For a Growing Fan Base

The team’s move in 2026 to Dallas could be the same year Texas sports betting launches. Lawmakers in the Lone Star State will feel more pressure than ever before to legalize sports betting when the Legislature convenes in 2025.

When the Wings relocated to Texas from Tulsa in 2016, the team made its home at the University of Arlington’s basketball venue. The College Park Center has a basketball capacity of 6,200. Last year, the Wings enjoyed record attendance.

Ahead of this season, the team has sold out its season tickets, a first for the franchise. Individual ticket sales are up more than 1,100%. According to the team, “virtually every business metric record has been, or will soon be, broken during the 2024 season.”

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson expressed his enthusiasm over the Wings’ upcoming move.

“Dallas is the place to be right now – for residents, for businesses, and for professional sports teams and their fans. This deal has been a top priority for us because we know the Dallas Wings will soar in the city they represent. We will be thrilled to welcome the Wings to the heart of our city. And we are even more excited to see this franchise anchor our new convention center district that will transform downtown Dallas for decades to come.”

The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center is undergoing a $2.8 billion renovation that will include a new arena. The Wings have signed a 15-year, $19 million use agreement with the city of Dallas.

Specifications of the new arena, including capacity, have not been finalized. However, according to Wings President and CEO Greg Bibb, it is expected to add at least 2,000 more seats than the College Park Center and bring in “a significant amount of additional revenue.”

The Caitlin Clark Effect

An athlete who has yet to play her first WNBA game also factors into the revival of the Wings, and in WNBA interest in general. The Beatlemania-like popularity of Iowa guard Caitlin Clark, the most recognizable college athlete in the country, is fueling a ticket-selling frenzy across the league. The No. 1 pick in this year’s draft will play for the Indiana Fever.

The Dallas Wings’ May 3 preseason game against the Fever sold out in a flash. Furthermore, teams around the league, including the Washington Mystics and the reigning WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces, are moving their home games against Indiana to larger venues.

Euphoria over Clark has exploded in the Hoosier State. For the team’s draft watch party, 17,000 fans claimed free tickets at Gainbridge Fieldhouse to watch the Fever select Clark. She left Iowa as the all-time points scorer in NCAA history, which included men’s basketball.

Sportsbooks Benefitting From Increased Betting on Women’s Sports

Ahead of the WNBA Draft, league Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said that betting on the WNBA is “an important way to grow our viewership.”

Clark has helped increase betting on women’s basketball in the past two years, leading Iowa to back-to-back Final Fours with jaw-dropping scoring performances.

Her impact on the sports betting market is so strong that FanDuel, the official sportsbook partner of the WNBA, even created a Caitlin Clark Specials tab in its sportsbook with nine betting options.

Texans, unfortunately, are still on the sidelines when it comes to betting on sports. They can’t even cross the border to place a bet in Oklahoma, as sports wagering isn’t legal in the Sooner State either. The closest options are Arkansas (retail betting only) and Louisiana, where online and retail sports betting is legal.

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Cheryl Coward

Cheryl Coward started her career as a news reporter in Washington, DC. She's a die-hard women's basketball fan and founded the website Hoopfeed.com as a result of that passion. She loves writing about sports on all levels and has previous experience covering sports betting regulations, operator marketing campaigns, and women's sports gambling topics.

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