This afternoon, the WNBA announced the full 2023 schedule. As announced last summer at the All-Star Game, the league will play a record 40 games this year, starting on Friday, May 19 and running unencumbered through to Sunday, September 10. This is a welcome change from the last three seasons, which saw a condensed COVID bubble season (2020), a lengthy Olympic break (2021), and a compressed season with the FIBA World Cup in Australia looming on the back end (2022).
“We eagerly anticipate tipping off the 2023 season and building on the success of last season, which was our most-watched in 14 years and set records for social media engagement, digital consumption and merchandise sales,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert in a league release. “The expanded schedule will provide fans greater opportunities to see the best players in the world compete on the game’s biggest stage.”
We haven’t even hit free agency yet, but if the coaching carousel is any indication of the movement we’ll see, we’re in for another exciting offseason. Connecticut, Dallas, Indiana, Los Angeles, and Washington have all overhauled their huddles, with just seven of the league’s dozen teams holding onto their current head coaches.
And while the end of last year saw some legendary hoopers hang it up, highlighted by Sue Bird and Sylvia Fowles, young talent is on the horizon. With their first ever first overall pick in hand, the Indiana Fever are in position to select Aliyah Boston out of South Carolina. With a playoff drought stretching back to 2016, could she be the generational piece that, alongside Kelsey Mitchell and NaLyssa Smith, returns Indiana to the postseason?
FIRST TIME IN FRANCHISE HISTORY. 🔥
we will have the No. 1 pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft. pic.twitter.com/raYgQQNIif
— Indiana Fever ⛹️♀️🏀 (@IndianaFever) November 11, 2022
There are a few matchups that I spied from the jump. The Las Vegas Aces, who have already secured extensions from their core, begin their title defense on the road, against the Seattle Storm on Saturday, May 20. The aforementioned Fever face off against the Atlanta Dream on Sunday, May 28 in a battle of the two most recent #1 selections. Curt Miller, now head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks, returns to Uncasville to take on the Connecticut Sun for the first time on Sunday, August 27.
Las Vegas and Connecticut, who faced off against one another in the 2022 WNBA Finals, will meet three times: Tuesday, June 6 and Thursday, June 8 in Connecticut and on Saturday, July 1 in Las Vegas.
A couple of key dates: WNBA All-Star 2023, the 19th All-Star Game in league history, will be played on Saturday, July 15. More information, including this year’s location, is still forthcoming.
The Commissioner’s Cup, an in-season tournament pitting conference rivals against each other during the first half of the regular season, will return for its third season. The 10 designated “Cup games” per team will be the first home game and first road game each team plays against its five conference rivals, all completed from May 19 – July 12. The team from each conference with the top record in Commissioner’s Cup games will compete for a half-a-million-dollar prize pool on Tuesday, August 15.
There will be nine games played across opening weekend, listed below.
|2023 WNBA Opening Weekend Schedule|
|Day||Date||Visitor||Home||Local Time||Eastern Time|
|Friday||May 19||New York||Washington||7:00 PM||7:00 PM|
|Friday||May 19||Connecticut||Indiana||7:00 PM||7:00 PM|
|Friday||May 19||Chicago||Minnesota||7:00 PM||8:00 PM|
|Friday||May 19||Phoenix||Los Angeles||7:00 PM||10:00 PM|
|Saturday||May 20||Las Vegas||Seattle||12:00 PM||3:00 PM|
|Saturday||May 20||Atlanta||Dallas||7:00 PM||8:00 PM|
|Sunday||May 21||Washington||Connecticut||1:00 PM||1:00 PM|
|Sunday||May 21||Indiana||New York||2:00 PM||2:00 PM|
|Sunday||May 21||Chicago||Phoenix||1:00 PM||4:00 PM|
While a full broadcast schedule is still to come, the matchups are all listed on WNBA.com. For the full schedule, click here.