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Connecticut Sun Mohegan Sun 2019 Mark Donahue

WNBA Arenas – Where Every Team Plays!

It’s possible that the WNBA arenas of 2020 will be combined into one because of the coronavirus, but normally, the league’s 12 teams are spread out across the country and playing for their home fans.

From Staples Center to Barclays Center and everywhere in between, it would be a total roadtrip of about 5,800 miles lasting roughly 87 hours, assuming you don’t hit traffic. And with modern gas prices, the drive is very affordable!

The WNBA has had a lot of volatility over the years with franchises and their locations. The last relocation was in 2018 when the San Antonio Stars went west to become the Las Vegas Aces, and before that it was the Tulsa Shock transitioning into the Dallas Wings in 2016. Those were the only two changes for the league since 2009, already a marked improvement from the past. It has now been two years since any team has moved and 11 since the last franchise fold, and the league feels like it’s the most stable it has ever been.

Of course, COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in some of the plans for growth from the 2020 season, but the powers that be are certainly exploring avenues to deal with this weird, weird situation. There has never been a better time for the WNBA, and these are the sanctuaries that hold the league’s valued services.

WNBA Arenas 2020

Atlanta Dream

Gateway Center Arena

College Park, Georgia

Capacity: 3,500

Nickname: Gateway Center

Where they were before: State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA

Opened: November 9, 2019

First WNBA game in arena: SOON! TBD based on COVID-19 pandemic rescheduling

Operated by: City of College Park, Georgia

Shared with: College Park Skyhawks (NBA G League)

Biggest basketball moment: There haven’t been many basketball moments at all for this infant-aged arena, but on Nov. 24, 2019, the College Park Skyhawks defeated the Long Island Nets in the building, 101-96, the first time a home team won a game Gateway Center Arena, christening the new Atlanta-area sporting home.

Fun fact: Opened in 2019, the arena is located directly next to the Georgia International Convention Center (GICC) and its funding and support are heavily tied to the convention center.

Chicago Sky

Wintrust Arena at McCormick Square

Chicago, Illinois

Capacity: 10,387

Nickname: Wintrust Arena

Where they were before: Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois

Opened: October 14, 2017

First WNBA game: Sunday, May 6, 2018, Chicago Sky vs. Atlanta Dream (preseason). May 20, 2018, New York Liberty 76, Chicago Sky 80 (regular season).

Operated by: Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority

Shared with: DePaul Blue Demons basketball teams (NCAA)

Biggest basketball moment: February 14, 2020. The NBA All-Star Celebrity Game was hosted in Wintrust Arena to compliment the All-Star Game at the United Center. It was the first sell-out crowd for basketball in the Wintrust Center and according to SLAM resale tickets started at a mere $115. One one side you had heavyweights like A’ja Wilson, Quavo and Chance the Rapper. On the other side it was Chelsea Gray, Common and Jidenna holding it down. Gray and Team Wilbon won the event, 62-47, with Common earning MVP.

Fun Fact: The arena opened recently just three years ago, and its first event was a private REO Speedwagon concert on Sept. 25, 2017, open only to attendees of the True Value Hardware convention.

Connecticut Sun

Mohegan Sun Arena

Uncasville, Connecticut

Capacity: 9,323

Nickname: The Casino

Where they were before: TD Waterhouse Centre, Orlando, Florida

Opened: November 9, 2001

First WNBA game: Tuesday, May 6, 2003, Connecticut Sun vs. New York Liberty (preseason). Saturday, May 24, 2003, Connecticut Sun 71, Los Angeles Sparks 82 (regular season)

Operated by: Mohegan Sun

Shared with: New England Black Wolves (NLL)

Biggest basketball moment: Even though the Connecticut Sun didn’t end up winning the championship, they did win a crucial Game 4 at home in the 2019 WNBA Finals against the Washington Mystics to force the series into a fifth game. On Oct. 8, 2019, five Sun players scored in double-figures as Connecticut held on to a showdown that went down to the wire, 90-86.

Fun Fact: The arena hosted the 2002 National Lacrosse League (NLL) All-Star Game, pitting the North against the South in professional indoor lacrosse’s third-ever all-star event over a decade before the Mohegan Sun would play home to the New England Black Wolves. The arena is also right in the middle of a casino and entertainment wonderland. We’ve been there, it’s awesome, trust us.

Indiana Fever

Hinkle Fieldhouse* 2020-21 only

Indianapolis, Indiana

Capacity: 9,100

Nickname: Hinkle

Where they were before: Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Opened: 1928

First WNBA game: Whenever the Fever play their first home game in the 2020, 2021 or 2022 seasons

Operated by: Butler University

Shared with: Butler men’s and women’s basketball, Butler volleyball

Biggest basketball moment: In 1955, Crispus Attucks High School boy’s basketball won the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s state championship in Hinkle Fieldhouse, becoming the first all-black school to win Indiana’s crown. The squad had some incredible names on its roster, including Oscar Robertson, Hallie Bryant and Willie Gardner. The team would do it again in 1956, this time capping off an undefeated season, again within the confines of Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Fun fact: Built in 1928, Hinkle Fieldhouse has seen a ridiculous amount of history in basketball and otherwise. It has welcomed six American presidents – Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush – hosted the first USA-USSR basketball game, and held the highest-attended volleyball match ever in the United States in 1987 as part of the Pan American Games when 14,500 showed up to watch USA triumph Cuba in the men’s gold medal match.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse* under renovation

Indianapolis, Indiana

Capacity: 17,923

Nickname: “Conseco” after the former namesake

Where they were before: N/A

Opened: November 6, 1999

First WNBA game: Saturday, June 3, 2000, Orlando Miracle 88, Indiana Fever 82 (regular season)

Operated by: Capital Improvement Board of Managers of Marion County, Indiana

Shared with: Indiana Pacers (NBA)

Biggest basketball moment: On Oct. 21, 2012, the Indiana Fever won their first and only WNBA championship, defeating the Minnesota Lynx, 87-78, in Game 4 of the 2012 WNBA Finals, securing the title at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Tamika Catchings scored 25 and dished eight assists as she led the Fever to the promised land.

Fun fact: The building hosts the Indiana High School Athletic Association state finals in wrestling and boy’s and girl’s basketball every year, plus occasion other high school tournaments and events, too.

New York Liberty

Barclays Center

Brooklyn, New York

Capacity: 17,732

Nickname: None

Where they were before: Westchester County Center, White Plains, NY

Opened: September 21, 2012

First WNBA game: SOON! TBD based on COVID-19 pandemic rescheduling

Operated by: BSE Global

Shared with: Brooklyn Nets (NBA), New York Islanders, part-time (NHL)

Biggest basketball moment: In 2016, Barclays Center hosted first and second round games of the NCAA Tournament. In one of its second round showdowns, No. 6 seed Notre Dame barely edged out No. 14 seed Stephen F. Austin, who had upset No. 3 seed West Virginia in the arena two days earlier, 76-75, following a tap-in bucket from Rex Plfueger with 1.5 seconds to play, capping an incredibly dramatic back-and-forth affair from start to finish.

Fun fact: Barclays Center features Diary of Brooklyn, a mural by painter José Parlá, that is 10 feet wide and 70 feet tall. It sits across the whole Dean Street entrance and uses phrases and calligraphy that honors Brooklyn and its history. It was unveiled in 2013 after six months of work.

Washington Mystics

Entertainment and Sports Arena

Washington, D.C.

Capacity: 4,200

Nickname: None

Where they were before: Capital One Arena

Opened: September 22, 2018

First WNBA game: Saturday, June 1st, 2019. Atlanta Dream 75, Washington Mystics 96

Operated by: Events DC

Shared with: Capital City Go-Go (NBA G League)

Biggest basketball moment: How could it anything other than the ‘Stics winning the 2019 title in Game 5? On Oct. 10, 2019, Washington finished off the Connecticut Sun, 89-78, in the fifth and decisive game of the 2019 WNBA Finals, winning the franchise’s first WNBA championship in front of thousands of friendly, screaming fans.

Fun fact: So much steel was used to build this building from 2016 to 2018 that if you laid out every piece of steel used in the project in a straight line, it would stretch for roughly eight miles.

Dallas Wings

College Park Center

Arlington, Texas

Capacity: 7,000

Nickname: CPC

Where they were before: BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Opened: February 1, 2012

First WNBA game: Sunday, May 8th, 2016. Dallas Wings vs. Connecticut Sun (preseason). Saturday, May 21st, 2016. San Antonio Stars 77, Dallas Wings 82 (regular season)

Operated by: University of Texas at Arlington

Shared with: UT Arlington Mavericks (NCAA)

Biggest basketball moment: On March 20, 2017, UT Arlington men’s basketball hosted Akron in the second round of the NIT at College Park Center. The Mavericks came out on top, 85-69, moving on to the quarterfinals of the tournament. Outside of the program’s lone NCAA Tournament appearance from 2008, that result is the best postseason achievement in UT Arlington’s history, and it happened in its home arena.

Fun fact: The arena meets the Gold standard, according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), because of low-emittance glazed windows, a highly reflective roof, a low-use water system and other energy-friendly features.

Las Vegas Aces

Mandalay Bay Events Center

Paradise, Nevada

Capacity: 12,000

Nickname: The House

Where they were before: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas

Opened: March 2, 1999

First WNBA game: Sunday, May 6th, 2018. China National Team vs. Las Vegas Aces (exhibition). Sunday, May 27th, 2018. Las Vegas Aces 98, Seattle Storm 105

Operated by: MGM Resorts International

Shared with: Rotating live events

Biggest basketball moment: The Las Vegas Aces met the Chicago Sky in the second round of the 2019 WNBA Playoffs. On Sept. 15, 2019, Dearica Hamby made a stupid, beautiful, ridiculous and unforgettable shot from around half-court to give the Aces a late lead that would last, 93-92.

Fun fact: The finals of the 2016 North American League of Legends Championship Series was played at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, with Counter Logic Gaming coming out on top.

Los Angeles Sparks

Staples Center

Los Angeles, California

Capacity: 18,997

Nickname: None

Where they were before: The Forum, Inglewood, California

Opened: October 17, 1999

First WNBA game: Tuesday, June 15th, 2001. Cleveland Rockers 50, Los Angeles Sparks 58

Operated by: L.A. Arena Company. Anschutz Entertainment Group

Shared with: Los Angeles Kings (NHL), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA), Los Angeles Clippers (NBA)

Biggest basketball moment: This is an incredibly difficult one to choose given the strong basketball history at Staples Center despite the arena’s relatively young age. But, the nod goes to June 17, 2010, when the Los Angeles Lakers won Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals against hated rivals the Boston Celtics, 83-79, to complete a back-to-back championship run and get revenge on the C’s for what they did to them in the Finals in 2008.

Fun fact: There are 10 statues outside Staples Center at the Star Plaza honoring iconic Los Angeles athletes and broadcasters: Wayne Gretzky, Magic Johnson, Oscar De La Hoya, Chick Hearn, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Luc Robitaille, Shaquille O’Neal, Bob Miller and Elgin Baylor. An 11th statue is coming soon, with Lisa Leslie joining the illustrious list of LA greats to be enshrined in bronze.

Minnesota Lynx

Target Center

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Capacity: 19,356

Nickname: None

Where they were before: Williams Arena, Minneaplois, MN / Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN during renovations

Opened: October 13, 1990

First WNBA game: Saturday, June 12th, 1999. Detroit Shock 51, Minnesota Lynx 68

Operated by: Anschutz Entertainment Group

Shared with: Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA)

Biggest basketball moment: While the game didn’t go the right way for the home team, it’s hard to deny that the ending of Game 5 of the 2016 WNBA Finals isn’t only the biggest basketball moment in Target Center history, but also one of the best in the history of the W. Two outstanding plays in a row from Nneka Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks gave her team a slight advantage with 3.1 seconds to play after a wild sequence in the last minute. The Sparks won, 77-76, and ended the Lynx’s bid at a repeat title.

Fun fact: The Target Center has been the home of some niche sports teams in the past, including the Extreme Football League’s Minnesota Valkyrie, Roller Hockey International’s Minnesota Arctic Blast and the Arena Football League’s Minnesota Fighting Pike.

Phoenix Mercury

Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum* 2020 only

Phoenix, Arizona

Capacity: 14,870

Building Nickname: Madhouse on McDowell

Supporter Nickname: X-Factor

Where they were before: Talking Stick Resort Arena

Opened: November 3, 1965

First WNBA game: SOON! TBD based on COVID-19 pandemic rescheduling

Operated by: Arizona Exposition and State Fair Board

Shared with: Arizona Derby Dames league

Biggest basketball moment: On Jan. 14, 1975, the Arizona Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum hosted the 1975 NBA All-Star Game, featuring Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tiny Archibald, Rick Barry, Wes Unseld and so many more. Frazier took home MVP honors after his 30-point performance, but it wasn’t enough to get the East the win as the West came out on top, 108-102.

Fun fact: This arena served as the home of the Phoenix Suns from 1968 to 1992.

Talking Stick Resort Arena* under renovation

Phoenix, Arizona

Capacity: 14,870

Nickname: The Purple Palace

Where they were before: N/A

Opened: June 6, 1992

First WNBA game: Sunday, June 22nd, 1997. Charlotte Sting 59, Phoenix Mercury 76

Operated by: Phoenix Arena Development, L.P.

Shared with: Phoenix Suns (NBA)

Biggest basketball moment: While the home fans didn’t enjoy it, John Paxson’s three with 3.9 seconds remaining in the game in Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals ended up being the difference in the series as the Chicago Bulls won the championship, 4-2, off the 99-98 win. Paxson’s points were the only ones scored by a Bulls player not named Michael Jordan in the fourth quarter.

Fun fact: The arena opened in 1992 as America West Arena, and the Phoenix Suns made the NBA Finals that same season. After losing, a parade with 300,000 Suns fans made its way through downtown and ended at the arena.

Seattle Storm

Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion* part-time in 2020 only

Seattle, Washington

Capacity: 10,000

Building Nickname: Hec Ed

Where they were before: New Arena at Seattle Center formerly KeyArena

Opened: December 27, 1927

First WNBA game: Sunday, June 23rd, 2019. Indiana Fever 61, Seattle Storm 65

Operated by: University of Washington

Shared with: Washington Huskies (NCAA)

Biggest basketball moment: On Jan. 19, 2019, the Washington men’s basketball team made history at Hec Ed. The program became the first in NCAA history to record 1,000 wins in the same building, walloping Cal, 71-52, to make the milestone a reality.

Fun fact: Hec Ed was built in 1927 and cost $600,000. It opened its doors with a Washington men’s basketball victory over visiting Illinois, 34-23, on Dec. 27, 1927.

Angel of the Winds Arena* part-time in 2020 only

Everett, Washington

Capacity: 8,500

Building nickname: “Comcast” or “Xfinity” after former naming rights

Supporters nickname: Storm Crazies

Where they were before: New Arena at Seattle Center formerly KeyArena

Opened: September 27, 2003

First WNBA game: Wednesday, May 15th, 2019. Phoenix Mercury vs. Seattle Storm (preseason). Saturday, May 25th, 2019. Seattle Storm 84, Phoenix Mercury 87

Operated by: Spectra Experiences

Shared with: Everett Silvertips (WHL), Tilted Thunder Rail Birds league

Biggest basketball moment: Angel of the Winds Arena hasn’t seen too much major basketball action in its years, though the Harlem Globetrotters have come through its doors. Otherwise, the five games the Seattle Storm played in the building in 2019, including their season opener on May 25, 2019, are the best hoops action the place has seen.

Fun fact: On April 1, the arena began serving as a new COVID-19 isolation and quarantine site to provide a “temporary, safe place to stay for up to 150 people” who are need of separation from others but don’t have anywhere to go.

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