Local News Matters weekly newsletter

Start your week with a little inspiration. Sign up for our informative, community-based newsletter, delivered on Mondays with news about the Bay Area.

Professional basketball and soccer may be coming to East Oakland and college basketball is already on its way, city and civic leaders said Friday.

The news conference at noon at Everett & Jones BBQ in Oakland involved city and county elected leaders as well as the African American Sports Entertainment Group, which announced Friday it is working to bring a Women’s National Basketball Association team to the Oakland Arena.

Also announced was an effort to bring professional soccer to the Oakland Coliseum and Oakland’s Lincoln University will be playing basketball games at the Arena. Lincoln University basketball, coached by Oakland’s own and former NBA pro Gary Payton, is working toward holding its first games in October.

“We got next,” was the theme Friday afternoon, a reference to Oakland as the next WNBA franchise location, echoed by city and civic leaders alike.

“We are absolutely ecstatic to be here,” said Ray Bobbitt of the AASEG, who emceed Friday’s announcement. “This is something special.”