Unless you’re the Dallas Wings, Connecticut Sun, Las Vegas Aces or Los Angeles Sparks, you have likely experienced some modicum of arena news over the past few years.
Noticed only four teams are mentioned above? That could have included five teams with the fourth being the Indiana Fever, but the Fever will now be displaced from Bankers Life Fieldhouse for at least the 2020 and 2021 seasons due to renovations.
The Bankers Life Fieldhouse’s renovation project is slated to start in early 2020 and include an outdoor plaza that will be a winter skating rink as well as an expansion of the entry pavilion.
Observation decks and gathering spaces will also be created.
The second portion of the renovation project is scheduled for after the 2021 NBA All-Star Game until December of that year. Indianapolis will host that game.
According to a report, Brent Rockwood, senior vice president of corporate, community and public relations for Pacers Sports & Entertainment said they are already engaged in talks of where the Fever will play for the next couple of seasons.
Butler and UIndy both have basketball arenas that could host the Fever as does Indiana University even though that is a few miles away in Bloomington.
The Fever now join the laundry list of W teams that have been through some form of arena changes (or will be going through them).
The Seattle Storm will be displaced from the Seattle Center Arena while it undergoes renovations to host NHL and NBA teams. That is scheduled to be complete in 2021 and the Storm are splitting its schedule between Everett’s Angel of the Winds Arena and Alaska Airlines Arena at the University of Washington this season.
The Phoenix Mercury will soon be displaced from Talking Stick Resort Arena for the next two seasons after the Suns and City of Phoenix reached an agreement for a renovation of the venue. Mercury GM Jim Pitman said in an interview with Arizona Sports 98.7 that the team will have to find a temporary venue while renovations are ongoing. The city will put $150 towards the projet with the Suns contributing $80 million as well as any cost overruns.
The Minnesota Lynx last year returned to Target Center in Minneapolis after renovations displaced the team from its home arena. They played at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul and even a WNBA Finals in 2017 at Williams Arena (The Barn) at the University of Minnesota.
The Chicago Sky last year moved from Allstate Arena in Rosemont to Wintrust Arena in Chicago’s South Loop. The arena is also the home of DePaul women’s and men’s basketball and an extension of McCormick Place. Sky CEO Adam Fox said to Beyond The W before the 2018 season that it was done to be closer to the bulk of its fanbase as well as to Chicago’s business and corporate community.
The Atlanta Dream are back at State Farm Arena starting this season after renovations to the artist formerly known as Philips Arena had the Dream playing at McCamish Pavilion on the campus of Georgia Tech.
The Washington Mystics have moved out of Capital One Arena in downtown Washington, D.C. and into the new Entertainment & Sports Arena in the Congress Heights neighborhood. The venue is also the home arena of the NBA G-League’s Capital City Go-Go. The facility also has a Washington Wizards practice facility and is near Metro’s Green Line.
The New York Liberty are playing its second – and possibly, final – season at the Westchester County Center in White Plains as the team has been sold from James Dolan and Madison Square Garden to Joe Tsai, minority (looming majority) Brooklyn Nets owner. Tsai is looking to purchase Barclays Center, a possible long-term Liberty home and Nassau Coliseum, where the G-League’s Long Island Nets play is also a possibility.