1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005
The WNBA tipped off on June 21, 1997 with the New York Liberty taking on the Los Angeles Sparks with over 14,000 in attendance. Soon after, the WNBA saw its attendance at the New York Liberty game surpass the 1 million mark for attendance. Fans quickly took to the idea of women playing professional basketball and wanted to show their support.

In April 1998, the WNBA announced they would add two expansion teams, to be managed by the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic, for the 1999 season. The Minnesota Lynx started their inaugural season in 1999 with 12,000 fans in attendance to watch the first regular-season game, against Detroit at Target Center.

In 2003, the Lynx finished with a then franchise-best 18-16 record and advanced to the WNBA Playoffs for the first time. Minnesota won its first-ever playoff game with a dramatic 21-point comeback in Game 1, but the Sparks won both games in Los Angeles, winning the series.

The Lynx began the 2005 season with playoff aspirations after the successful 2004 season. Minnesota started the season with an 11-10 record, but after a July dry spell, the franchise made a decision for the future and traded Katie Smith and a second round draft pick to Detroit for Chandi Jones (the eighth pick of the 2004 draft), Stacey Thomas, and Detroit's first round draft pick in 2006. The Lynx finished with a 14-20 record, but beat the odds and won the WNBA’s draft lottery for the right to choose number one overall in the 2006 WNBA Draft.

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