Up to this point, a bid by the Minnesota Lynx to host the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game was the only known bid for the W’s midseason festivities.
We now know that is the actual location of next season’s All-Star Game.
— Lynx PR (@Lynx_PR) September 2, 2017
Get ready. The 2018 WNBA All Star Game is coming to Minneapolis. pic.twitter.com/cbVfAstFP1
— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) September 2, 2017
.@WNBA Chief Operating Officer Jay Parry announces that the Verizon WNBA All-Star 2018 will take place in Minneapolis!
— Lynx PR (@Lynx_PR) September 2, 2017
Among those on hand for the announcement included the Lynx’s Lindsay Whalen, Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges, and WNBA chief operating officer Jay Parry.
— John Focke (@JWFOCKE) September 3, 2017
The WNBA is excited to bring the premier summer event to this community that has incredible fans, passionate supporters, businesses, civic engagement, and frankly, a world-class host team in the Minnesota Lynx.
When Whalen spoke to the crowd in attendance, she vividly recalled in 2003 when she was in her senior year at the University of Minnesota. That season’s festivities were held at Madison Square Garden in New York City and one of the more memorable moments from that event was Sue Bird’s between-the-legs pass to Lauren Jackson.
I kind of always thought, after that point, maybe I could be in the WNBA and maybe I could play and maybe be an All-Star.
Minnesota’s fans have passionately filled Target Center for three championships and five Finals series over the last six seasons, and with the arena undergoing a spectacular renovation this summer, I can’t think of a better venue for Verizon WNBA All-Star.
–WNBA president Lisa Borders
The announcement of the WNBA All-Star Game in 2018 in the Twin Cities coincides with the conclusion of a renovation project for Target Center—where the Lynx will return starting next season—and a rebranding effort for the Lynx, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the NBA G-League’s Iowa Wolves. The aforementioned three teams will debut similar new logos starting their upcoming seasons.
As the home of the three-time WNBA champion Lynx, Minneapolis – and the entire Twin Cities region – is a proud supporter of the WNBA. This opportunity to bring a world-class event such as the WNBA All-Star Game to Target Center is something we celebrate today and look forward to celebrating next summer.
–Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges
Lynx fans have also watched from afar as their very own Maya Moore won MVP honors in our last two All-Star Games and now they’ll have a chance to see the best of the best from across the WNBA together at one time in their home arena.
It is safe to say Moore will likely be an All-Star next season as well and that she will make a strong case to make it a three-peat.
Where to, W?
With the first two All-Star Games of Borders’ tenure as WNBA president being held in cities that never previously held them, it shows a desire on the part of the league to broaden the league’s reach beyond where it previously was.
Of course, it is never too soon to look ahead. Where the game will emanate from in 2019 – one year prior to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo when there will not be an All-Star Game – may already be an interesting question in W circles.
Atlanta’s Philips Arena is undergoing a similar renovation project as Target Center and is scheduled to be completed prior to the Hawks’ 2018-19 season. The Dream are currently scheduled to return to Philips in 2019 after playing two seasons at McCamish Pavilion on the campus of Georgia Tech.
The Lynx’s hosting of the 2018 All-Star Game will occur a few months after the Super Bowl that will also be held in Minneapolis. Atlanta will host the Super Bowl at the newly built Mercedes-Benz Stadium in…2019.
Also—be on the lookout for Chicago. The Windy City may be an increasingly desirable location for an All-Star Game now that the Sky have signed a five-year lease to play at Wintrust Arena, which was built as an extension of McCormick Place—already the largest convention center in the United States.
With the Sky moving out of the Allstate Arena in Rosemont and into Chicago’s South Loop, expect for the City of Broad Shoulders to host an All-Star Game sometime during the duration of that lease.
Another city that has never held the game is Los Angeles—whose case is somewhat already made because….Los Angeles.