The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) on Wednesday announced that it had approved the relocation of the San Antonio Stars to Las Vegas, and that team will be owned and operated by MGM Resorts International (MGM) - Get Report .

The team will begin playing in Las Vegas starting in the 2018 season, and its home arena will be the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

"We are thrilled to bring the first major professional basketball team to Las Vegas," said WNBA President Lisa Borders. "This city and MGM Resorts are synonymous with world-class entertainment. With its culture of diversity and inclusion, MGM Resorts is an ideal fit for the WNBA."

"We are delighted to welcome the WNBA as our newest partner in professional sports," said Lilian Tomovich, the company's Chief Experience & Marketing Officer. "We appreciate, now more than ever, the league's confidence in Las Vegas and believe the team will be a tremendous addition to the city."

Despite the move to Las Vegas, shares of MGM were falling nearly 1% in afternoon trading on Wednesday after analysts at Stifel Nicholaus downgraded the casino operator's stock to "Hold" from "Buy" while removing it from its "Select List."

The firm's downgrade is predicated on a lack of "compelling" growth catalysts over the next year.

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