For a long time, fans throughout the WNBA were wondering why the All-Star festivities were not treated as more of an event (ala NBA All-Star weekend) as opposed to the standalone contest it has been.
With this season’s midseason festivities emanating from Las Vegas, a destination that is no stranger to glitz and glamour, the W is going hard to ensure All-Star weekend in Sin City is quite the experience.
#WNBA All-Star Friday Night to Feature 3-Point Contest, Skills Challenge, and Beach Concert & Party!
— WNBA (@WNBA) June 17, 2019
All-Star Friday Night will include the 3-Point Contest as well as an All-Star Skills Challenge at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, the home court of the Las Vegas Aces. ESPN will have coverage beginning at 7 p.m. eastern time.
According to a league press release, the last time the two competitions were paired together for All-Star was in 2006. That year, All-Star emanated from Madison Square Garden, then the home court of the New York Liberty.
The Liberty hosted the All-Star Game on three occasions at the Garden while under the MSG umbrella.
Prior to the Skills Competition and 3-Point Contest, a Fan Fest will take place in addition to an entertainment event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Also, there will be a WNBA Beach Concert & Party.
What better place than Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world, for the WNBA’s most talented and dynamic players to headline a show. The competitions along with special entertainment and a festive beach party all combine to make the WNBA All-Star 2019 the place to be.
–Christy Hedgpeth, WNBA COO (per league press release)
The 3-Point Contest will follow similar rules as previous 3-Point Contests. Five shooting locations will be positioned around the 3-point arc. Four of them will feature four WNBA balls (worth one point) and a money ball (worth two). The fifth will be all five money balls.
The two participants with the highest scores will advance to the championship round.
The skills competition is slated to be a three-round obstacle course competition featuring dribbling, speed, pass ability, and 3-point shooting. It will follow a bracket-style format. Participants for both will be announced sometime in the days and months leading up to All-star weekend.
In addition to the additions made to WNBA All-Star weekend, it will also be notable for another big reason. One week before the All-Star festivities will be when Cathy Engelbert officially takes the reins as the WNBA’s new and first-ever commissioner.