July 13, 2020
WNBA releases schedule; season to start July 25
First up in season 24: Breanna Stewart vs. Sabrina Ionescu
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The WNBA released its schedule for the 2020 season, which will tip off on July 25, on Monday. Earlier this month, the league announced that the season would be dedicated to honoring the Black Lives Matter Movement and all of the Black women that have been killed in acts of racial violence with commemorative jerseys, warm-up shirts and specially designed courts in addition to the formation of The Justice Movement and a Social Justice Council. In that vein, opening weekend will honor the Black Lives Matter movement with team uniforms that will display Breonna Taylor’s name. Players will have the option to continue to wear the placard with Taylor’s name for the rest of the season.
“As we build on the momentum for women’s sports and the WNBA from last season, we’re incredibly grateful to our broadcast partners who have shown a continued commitment to bringing the WNBA to fans across the country on their biggest platforms,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert in the release. “This 2020 WNBA season will truly be one unlike any other, and we’re looking forward to using our collective platform to highlight the tremendous athletes in the WNBA as well as their advocacy for social change.”
Each team will play 22 games at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, with September 12 marking the last day of the regular season. Games will be played on IMG Academy’s two main courts and each game day will feature three match-ups.
ESPN networks will air 24 regular season games — all during the first half of the season — including six on ESPN, 15 on ESPN2 and three on ABC. The network will also air up to 19 playoff games, according to the release. Last season, ESPN’s family of networks aired 17 regular season games in total, including four games on ABC. In terms of broadcasting, ESPN commentators, Ryan Ruocco paired with Rebecca Lobo and Pam Ward with LaChina Robinson, will call games remotely from ESPN’s campus in Bristol, Connecticut. Sideline reporter Holly Rowe will also participate, providing game coverage, insight and storytelling around various games.
The WNBA also has a deal with CBS Sports, which will air 39 games and one game on the CBS main channel — the July 29 match-up between the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty.
The first game will see 2018 MVP Breanna Stewart’s return to the court when the Seattle Storm take on rookie Sabrina Ionescu and the Liberty at 12 p.m. ET on July 25. Following that will be a star-studded Los Angeles Sparks vs. Phoenix Mercury game at 3 p.m. ET and a 5 p.m. ET match-up between the Indiana Fever and reigning champion Washington Mystics.
Other highlights of this season’s schedule include:
In their first games of the season, the Chicago Sky and the Aces will face each other on July 26 at 3 p.m. ET on ABC. Last season, the Aces clinched the playoffs for the first time since moving to Las Vegas and defeated the Sky in a thrilling 93-92 victory thanks to a miraculous game-winner from Dearica Hamby.
The Minnesota Lynx and Connecticut Sun play their two games against each other during the first week of the season: July 26 at 12 p.m. ET and August 1 at 4 p.m. ET.
In a rematch of last year’s WNBA Finals, the Sun will meet the Mystics again on July 28 at 7 p.m. ET and August 30 at 4 p.m. ET.
On July 29, Angel McCoughtry and the Aces will face her old team, the Atlanta Dream, for the first time since she left this past offseason at 3 p.m. ET on ABC.
Former Oregon teammates and popular candidates for Rookie of the Year Ionescu and Satou Sabally will meet again on July 29 at 8 p.m. ET when their two teams play.
Longtime Lynx player Seimone Augustus made the move to L.A. this offseason, and will face her former team on August 9 at 7 p.m. ET.
Games on August 10 will see Courtney Williams, who helped lead the Sun to the Finals last year, face off against her former team with the Dream and Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith play the Wings, her former team.
Connecticut’s DeWanna Bonner will play her old team, the Mercury on August 26 at 10 p.m. ET.
You can find the full schedule here.