The Aces have spent the past two weeks practicing at Cox Pavilion.
They will spend Sunday playing there, too.
The Aces play their only preseason game Sunday against the Minnesota Lynx at 12:30 p.m. at the UNLV facility. They open the regular season May 26 at Mandalay Bay Events Center, where they normally play their home games. But it’s not available Sunday.
Neither are T-Mobile Arena and the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“All of our arenas are busy. Convention traffic. It’s pretty wild, we have three arenas and they’re all busy,” Aces coach Bill Laimbeer said with a laugh. “It was a natural progression to have it (at Cox Pavilion).”
The Aces have developed a natural partnership — of sorts — with UNLV since relocating from San Antonio in October 2017. They had their inaugural training camp at Cox Pavilion last year and teamed with MGM Resorts International to renovate the locker rooms and training room for the school’s women’s basketball players, volleyball players and golfers.
UNLV women’s basketball coach Kathy Olivier is pleased with the partnership and said it has continued to blossom.
“We’re continuing to have this support. ‘What can we do for each other?’ kind of relationship. It’s been very beneficial for us,” said Olivier, who occasionally attends Aces practices. “They’ve renovated the locker room for us, and we want to return the favor and do things for them. It’s a good relationship that’s working right now.”
Olivier said the Aces’ presence is a tool she uses in recruiting. She praised UNLV athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois for welcoming the Aces and is excited for the game at Cox Pavilion, which holds almost 2,500 for basketball.
“It’s good for the fans and the community and the venue,” Olivier said. “It’s a chance for fans to get an up close, personal look at the Aces.”
The preseason game also offers Laimbeer a chance to evaluate his team against another team. The Aces are carrying 15 players after the acquisition of All-Star center Liz Cambage and must trim the roster to 12 by the start of the regular season.
“I’m just worried about my basketball team,” Laimbeer said. “Not so much in selling tickets.”
Who: Minnesota Lynx at Aces
When: 12:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Cox Pavilion
Tickets: Starting at $22 on vividseats.com
About the Lynx: All-Star wing Maya Moore is sitting out the season for personal reasons. Former league MVP Sylvia Fowles returns as one of the WNBA’s best post players and averaged 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds last season. Minnesota is 1-0 in preseason play after an 86-79 win over the Washington Mystics on May 10.
About the Aces: No. 1 overall pick Jackie Young makes her WNBA debut and will run the point for Aces this season. All-Star forward A’ja Wilson patrols the paint, and All-Star guard Kayla McBride holds down the wing. Newly acquired center Liz Cambage will not play, but is expected to join the team at practice this week.