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.