WNBA Tips Off 14th Season with 15 Preseason Games in 13 Cities

-- WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury Take on China National Team
as Part of Four International Preseason Games --
-- Los Angeles Sparks and Mercury to Open Regular Season on ESPN2 --

NEW YORK, Feb. 17, 2010 � Prior to tip-off of the WNBA's 14th season, the league will play 15 preseason games in 13 cities, including four games between WNBA teams and the China and Poland National Teams. The preseason begins on April 30 with an 11 a.m. CT matinee between the Chicago Sky and Minnesota Lynx at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn.

The Los Angeles Sparks will be the first team to face the China National Team when the teams tip off at Viejas Arena in San Diego, Calif on May 1. The China National Team will also match up against the San Antonio Silver Stars on May 4 at the McDermott Center in San Antonio and the Phoenix Mercury on May 8 at the US Airways Center. The Connecticut Sun will also face an international foe when the team hosts the Poland National Team on May 7 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

WNBA teams will play five games in non-WNBA arenas, highlighted by the Atlanta Dream, with former University of Tennessee stars Chamique Holdsclaw and Michelle Snow, squaring off against the Washington Mystics at the Hooper Eblen Center in Cookeville, Tenn. on May 9. In another game in a non-WNBA market, the Sparks and Silver Stars will meet on the campus of Long Beach State University in California. The Chicago Sky will play its first game in its new home, AllState Arena, on May 6 against the Minnesota Lynx.

The 2010 WNBA regular season begins May 15 when the 2009 WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury hosts the Los Angeles Sparks at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

The full preseason schedule is as follows:

DayDateVisiting TeamHome TeamLocal TimeVenueCity
Fri.April 30ChicagoMinnesota11 a.m.Concordia UniversitySt. Paul, Minn.
Sat.May 1China National TeamLos Angeles7 p.m.Viejas ArenaSan Diego, Calif.
Sun.May 2PhoenixSeattle 1 p.m.KeyArenaSeattle, Wash.
Tues.May 4AtlantaConnecticut11 a.m.Mohegan Sun ArenaUncasville, Conn.
Tues.May 4China National TeamSan Antonio7 p.m.McDermott Center,
University the Incarnate Word
San Antonio, Texas
Weds.May 5New YorkWashington11:30 a.m.Verizon CenterWashington, D.C.
Thurs.May 6MinnesotaChicago11:30 a.m.AllState ArenaChicago, Ill.
Fri.May 7ChicagoIndiana12 p.m.Conseco FieldhouseIndianapolis, Ind.
Fri.May 7Poland National TeamConnecticut7:30 p.m.Mohegan Sun ArenaUncasville, Conn.
Sat.May 8San AntonioLos Angeles12:30 p.m.The Pyramid at LBSULong Beach, Calif.
Sat.May 8China National TeamPhoenix7 p.m.US Airways CenterPhoenix, Ariz.
Sun.May 9WashingtonAtlanta2 p.m.Hooper Eblen CenterCookeville, Tenn.
Sun.May 9SeattleTulsa1 p.m.BOK CenterTulsa, Okla.
Mon.May 10IndianaChicago11:30 a.m. AllState ArenaChicago, Ill
Tues.May 11ConnecticutNew York11 a.m.Madison Square GardenNew York, N.Y.

About the WNBA
The WNBA is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity. Now preparing for its 14th season, the WNBA is the most successful women's professional team sports league in the world. The 2009 regular season featured increased attendance for the third consecutive year and increased viewership on ESPN2 for the second straight summer. Average viewership on ESPN2 jumped 76 percent from a year ago for the 2009 WNBA Finals presented by adidas. The five-game series also featured three sellouts plus the highest total attendance figure (82,018) in WNBA Finals history.

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.