2022 WNBA REGULAR SEASON TIPS OFF MAY 6 WITH OPENING WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTED BY STAR-STUDDED MATCHUPS
– Expanded Schedule Features Record-High 36 Games Per Team –
– All 12 Teams Begin Quest for WNBA Championship During Opening Weekend –
– Chicago Sky Starts Title Defense vs. Los Angeles Sparks on Opening Night –
– Commissioner’s Cup presented by Coinbase, AT&T WNBA All-Star, and “Series Play” Highlight 2022 Schedule –
NEW YORK, Dec. 9, 2021 – The WNBA today released its game schedule for the 2022 regular season, which will feature a record-high 36 games per team. The expanded regular season will tip off on Friday, May 6 with a weekend of action showcasing all 12 teams. The league’s 26th regular season will conclude on Sunday, Aug. 14, followed by the WNBA Playoffs presented by Google, which as previously announced, will have a new format this season.
The WNBA will unveil its complete television and streaming schedule at a later date.
“Coming off our historic 25th season when the WNBA enjoyed its most-watched season since 2008 and set records for merchandise sales and engagement across social media platforms, we are looking forward to what is already a highly anticipated tip off of the 2022 season in May,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “The 36-game schedule will provide fans greater opportunities to see the best players in the world compete at the highest level and year two of the Commissioner’s Cup brings added incentive to the first half of the season for players and teams while offering fans conference rivalry competition through which to support their favorite teams.”
The 2022 season will begin on Friday, May 6 with four star-studded matchups. Former WNBA MVP Candace Parker and the defending champion Chicago Sky will host former MVP Nneka Ogwumike and the Los Angeles Sparks (8 p.m. ET). In a rematch of a thrilling 2021 WNBA Semifinals series, the Phoenix Mercury and its trio of 2021 All-Stars – WNBA career scoring leader Diana Taurasi, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Brittney Griner – will host the Las Vegas Aces, who were led in 2021 by their own quartet of All-Stars in Liz Cambage, Chelsea Gray, Dearica Hamby, and A’ja Wilson (10 p.m. ET).
The opening-night schedule will also feature the Seattle Storm, led most recently by WNBA all-time assists leader Sue Bird and former regular-season and Finals MVP Breanna Stewart, hosting the Minnesota Lynx, which had the league’s third-best record last season behind former regular-season and Finals MVP Sylvia Fowles (10 p.m. ET). In addition, the Washington Mystics, paced in 2021 by All-Star Ariel Atkins and league scoring leader Tina Charles, will face the visiting Indiana Fever and Kelsey Mitchell, the team’s leading scorer in each of the past three seasons (7 p.m. ET).
Action will continue on Saturday, May 7 when the league’s four remaining teams tip off their 2022 seasons. Former No. 1 overall draft pick Sabrina Ionescu, 2021 Kia WNBA Rookie of the Year Michaela Onyenwere and the New York Liberty will host the Connecticut Sun, which posted a league-best 26-6 record last season behind reigning Kia WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones and fellow 2021 All-Stars DeWanna Bonner and Brionna Jones (6 p.m. ET). Also on Saturday, Arike Ogunbowale, 2021 All-Star MVP and an All-WNBA Team selection each of the past two seasons, and the Dallas Wings will host the Atlanta Dream, which has been led by former All-WNBA First Team selection Tiffany Hayes for the last nine seasons (8 p.m. ET).
The WNBA will conclude its opening weekend on Sunday, May 8 with three games: Los Angeles at Indiana (3 p.m. ET), Seattle at Las Vegas (6 p.m. ET), and Washington at Minnesota (7 p.m. ET).
Commissioner’s Cup presented by Coinbase
The Commissioner’s Cup presented by Coinbase, an in-season tournament pitting conference rivals against each other during the first half of the regular season, will return for its second season. The 10 designated “Cup games” per team will be the first home game and first road game each team plays against its five conference rivals, all completed from May 6 – July 7. The team from each conference with the top record in Cup games will compete for a lucrative prize pool in the Commissioner’s Cup Championship Game on Tuesday, July 26. Additional details will be announced at a later date.
AT&T WNBA All-Star 2022
AT&T WNBA All-Star 2022, the 18th All-Star Game in league history, will be played on Sunday, July 10, with other pre-All-Star activities on Saturday, July 9. More information about the All-Star weekend will be forthcoming.
Expanded Regular-Season Schedule
The WNBA’s regular-season schedule has increased to an all-time-high 36 games per team, up two games from the previous high of 34 and up four games from 32 per team last season. Each team will play 18 home games and 18 road games. The previous schedule, which grew from 28 to 32 games per team over the WNBA’s first six seasons, had consisted of 34 games per team from 2003-19. Teams played a shortened 22-game schedule in the 2020 season and a 32-game schedule in the 2021 season, both due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The schedule again incorporates steps to reduce travel, including the use of a “series” model. In some instances where a team is scheduled to play twice in the same city, those games have been scheduled to be played consecutively.
All in for Regular-Season Finale
With playoff berths and seedings potentially on the line, the WNBA will conclude its regular-season schedule in style with all 12 teams in action on Sunday, Aug. 14, the final day of the regular season.
Additional Schedule Highlights
- Chicago and Phoenix, which squared off in a memorable 2021 WNBA Finals presented by YouTube TV series, will meet three times – Tuesday, May 31 and Saturday, July 2 in Chicago and on Sunday, Aug. 14 in Phoenix.
- Connecticut will play four times against Chicago, which defeated the top-seeded Sun in the 2021 WNBA Semifinals. The Eastern Conference rivals will meet in Connecticut on Friday, June 10 and Sunday, July 31, and in Chicago on Wednesday, June 29 and Sunday, Aug. 7.
- Phoenix and Las Vegas will face each other three times in a rematch of a 2021 WNBA Semifinals series, which the Mercury won in a deciding Game 5 against the second-seeded Aces. After meeting in Phoenix on May 6 on the first day of the season, the Western Conference rivals will play in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 17 and Saturday, May 21.
Below is the WNBA’s game schedule for tip-off weekend of the 2022 regular season.
2022 WNBA SCHEDULE: OPENING WEEKEND
|Day||Date||Visitor||Home||Local Time||Eastern Time|
|Fri.||May 6||Indiana||Washington||7:00 p.m||7:00 p.m|
|Fri.||May 6||Los Angeles||Chicago||7:00 p.m||8:00 p.m.|
|Fri.||May 6||Las Vegas||Phoenix||7:00 p.m||10:00 p.m.|
|Fri.||May 6||Minnesota||Seattle||7:00 p.m||10:00 p.m.|
|Sat.||May 7||Connecticut||New York||6:00 p.m.||6:00 p.m.|
|Sat.||May 7||Atlanta||Dallas||7:00 p.m.||8:00 p.m.|
|Sun.||May 8||Los Angeles||Indiana||3:00 p.m||3:00 p.m.|
|Sun.||May 8||Seattle||Las Vegas||3:00 p.m||6:00 p.m.|
|Sun.||May 8||Washington||Minnesota||6:00 p.m.||7:00 p.m.|
Additionally, WNBA teams can begin negotiating with free agents on Jan. 15. Free agents can sign contracts with teams beginning on Feb. 1.
About the WNBA
Having just completed its 25th season in 2021, the WNBA is a bold, progressive basketball league that stands for the power of women. Featuring 12 teams, the W is a unique sports property that combines competition and entertainment with a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and social responsibility. Through its world-class athletes, the in-game fan experience, TV and digital broadcasts, digital and social content and community outreach programs, the league celebrates and elevates the game of basketball and the culture around it.
In 2020, the WNBA and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) signed a groundbreaking eight-year CBA that charts a new course for women’s basketball—and women’s sports overall—with a focus on increased player compensation, improvements to the player experience, expanded career development opportunities, and resources specifically tailored to the female professional athlete. Key elements of the agreement are supported through the league’s new platform, WNBA Changemakers, with AT&T, the WNBA’s Marquee Partner and inaugural Changemaker, as well as fellow inaugural Changemakers Deloitte and Nike, and the recent addition of Google in 2021. During the 2020 season, the WNBA and WNBPA launched the WNBA Justice Movement forming the Social Justice Council with the mission of being a driving force of necessary change and continuing conversations about race and voting rights, among other important societal issues.
For more information, visit WNBA.com.