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APNewsBreak: Liberty to play at Barclays starting in 2020

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NEW YORK (AP)The New York Liberty will have a new home next year, playing their games at Barclays Center.

Liberty team executives told The Associated Press on Thursday that the franchise will play all its home contests at the Brooklyn arena that houses the Nets. The building was recently purchased by Liberty owner Joe Tsai, who also owns the Nets.

Playing in Barclays Center is a huge upgrade for the Liberty, who played the past two seasons at the Westchester County Center, where the capacity was set for just over 2,000 fans. The Liberty rarely sold out games in Westchester. The move to Westchester came as former owner James Dolan was looking to sell the team and save money. Playing at Madison Square Garden – the Liberty’s home for most of the time since the franchise was formed in 1997 – cost about 20 times more than playing in Westchester.

David Levy, who is the CEO of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, as well as president of J Tsai Sports, says the ownership group did the models and wouldn’t have moved to Barclays if they didn’t think it could be profitable.

Barclays will open up the lower bowl for most games, creating a capacity of over 8,000 with the option to expand if needed. New York played one regular-season game against Seattle in Barclays this past season and drew well, with 7,715 fans in attendance.

The team will have a new coach at the helm after the Liberty decided not to renew the contract of Katie Smith on Wednesday.

Follow Doug Feinberg on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg

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