First-Ever WNBA Preseason Tournament Set for ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney
New York, Apr. 23, 2014 – The first-ever WNBA Preseason Tournament 2014, featuring the defending champion Minnesota Lynx, Chicago Sky, Indiana Fever and Phoenix Mercury, will tip off on Friday, May 9 at the HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Fla., the WNBA announced today.
In addition to the four-game tournament, a full slate of clinics, practices and autograph sessions featuring the WNBA players and coaches will be conducted in conjunction with the AAU Spring Fling II girls basketball event which will also be hosted at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Over 1,500 girls basketball players from the 3rd through 12th grade divisions will be on site competing in the AAU event.
“The WNBA is thrilled to be working with AAU and Disney to bring young women who are learning the game and some of today’s top talent in women’s basketball to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex,” said WNBA President Laurel J.Richie. “This weekend of tournaments will provide a unique opportunity to showcase the current and future talent in our sport.”
“We are excited to be partnering with an organization like the WNBA,” said AAU President & CEO Henry Forrest. “We are looking forward to a great event as well as a continued long term relationship.”
The WNBA Preseason Tournament 2014 games tip off at 6:00 p.m. ET on May 9 with a battle between Eastern Conference rivals, Chicago and Indiana. The Sky, which posted the best record (24-10) in the East a year ago, is led by 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year Elena Delle Donne, while the 2012 WNBA champion Fever boasts former league MVP Tamika Catchings. That game will be followed by a clash between the defending WNBA champion Lynx and the Mercury, winners of the WNBA championship in both 2007 and 2009, at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Lynx, which topped the Mercury in last year’s Western Conference Finals en route to its second league title in franchise history, is led by Maya Moore, MVP of the 2013 WNBA Finals presented by Boost Mobile, while Phoenix is powered by 2009 MVP Diana Taurasi.
The winners of the opening round of games will meet on Sunday, May 11, at 1:00 p.m. ET, and will be preceded by a consolation game with the other two teams at 10:30 a.m ET.
Fans will have an opportunity to purchase tickets for the WNBA Preseason Tournament 2014 starting today on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Tickets may be purchased at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Box Office or through Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com. The two-game package for Friday, May 9 is available for $20, as is the two-game package for Sunday, May 11. A four-game package is available for $35. *Prices do not include any service or printing fees.
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex has a long history of hosting WNBA and NBA events. The complex hosted the first WNBA Pre-Draft Camp, WNBA All-Star Weekend clinics, Orlando Magic training camp and the NBA Pre-Draft Camp in previous years.
About the AAU
Founded in 1888, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer, sports organizations in the United States. The philosophy of "Sports for All, Forever," is shared by over 500,000 participants and over 50,000 volunteers. The AAU is divided into 57 distinct Districts which annually sanction more than 34 sports programs, 250 national championships, and over 30,000 age division events. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs.
About the WNBA
The WNBA – which features 12 teams and is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world – is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity. The league, which counts Boost Mobile as its leaguewide marquee partner, will tip off its 18th season on May 16, 2014.
Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and women’s health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education. For more information on the WNBA, log on to www.wnba.com.