June 7, 2023 

New details on New York Liberty’s postponement

Home game to be rescheduled due to air quality issues

The game between the Minnesota Lynx and the New York Liberty that was scheduled for 7 p.m. ET tonight at Barclays Center has been postponed, the WNBA announced this afternoon, over the air quality issues in the New York metro area due to a wildfire coming from the province of Quebec in Canada.

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Rachel Galligan reported a potential issue with playing the game first, and our Howard Megdal confirmed that the game was in fact postponed for a later date. Megdal also reported that the league is looking at rescheduling this game between the Liberty and the Lynx either during that window between Aug. 14-16, around the break that coincides with Aug. 15 Commissioner’s Cup, if neither team is in it. Another option is for the Lynx to have a back-to-back near when Minnesota faces the Mystics in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 29. 

When the Liberty practiced on their home floor this morning for shoot around at around 10 a.m., they noticed that the air within the arena looked a little hazy. But as air outside in Brooklyn got worse, so did the air inside. The staff at the Barclays Center attempted to vent the building but were unable to hours before the doors opened for fans. The Liberty deemed this would be an unsafe experience for their players, the players of the Minnesota Lynx and their fan community.

“The city has been placed under an Air Quality Health Advisory until Thursday morning,” the team said in an official release. “This decision has been made to protect the health and safety of our fans, teams and community.”

This hasn’t been the first time that a WNBA game at Barclays Center has been impacted by inclement weather. On Aug. 21, 2021, the Liberty played the Los Angeles Sparks without any fans or media at Barclays Center. The team made that decision in accordance with the State of Emergency that was issued by the governor of New York when Hurricane Henri ascended the New York Metro area. 

While both the Liberty and the Lynx will remain at home and in the safety of a hotel for the evening, both teams are scheduled to play games on Friday evening. Minnesota is scheduled to play the Indiana Fever at home at 8 p.m. ET and the Liberty are due in Atlanta to play the Dream at 7:30 p.m. ET. As of now, there is some uncertainty about whether or not both teams will be able to travel for their games on Thursday due to the hazy skies that have delayed and disrupted flights in and out of regional airports.

The Liberty plan on being able to play their next home game, however, on Sunday against the Dallas Wings at 1 p.m. ET, a game being televised by ABC.

Written by Jackie Powell

Jackie Powell covers the New York Liberty and runs social media and engagement strategy for The Next. She also has covered women's basketball for Bleacher Report and her work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Harper's Bazaar and SLAM. She also self identifies as a Lady Gaga stan, is a connoisseur of pop music and is a mental health advocate.

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