Las Vegas’ newest pro sports franchise, the Aces of the WNBA, will open their season May 20 at the Connecticut Sun.
The Aces, who announced in November they were moving to Las Vegas from San Antonio, released their 34-game schedule Thursday. Their home opener is 5 p.m. May 27 against the Seattle Storm.
Their season ends Aug. 19 at home against the Atlanta Dream. The WNBA season is normally spread out over five months, but it’s compressed this year because of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup, scheduled for Sept. 22 to 30. During one stretch in July, the Aces will play seven games in 11 days.
“The season is very condensed this year because of the world championships,” Aces coach Bill Laimbeer said Thursday. “There’s no days to practice. It’s like play, fly, play, fly, play, fly. It’s coming fast and furious.
“There’s not going to be a lot of time to rest for the players. Not a lot of preparation time for the coaches. It’s really going to be an intense year.”
The Aces will play 17 home games at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. They have weekday games scheduled for 7 p.m. or 7:30. Weekend home games vary from 3 p.m. to 7:30.
Their longest homestand is four games, from June 22 to 29, and their longest trip is four games, from June 10 to 15.
Laimbeer said training camp, which is expected to open in late April, will take on great importance.
“A lot of the players are playing overseas and are going to be arriving late for training camp,” he said. “For a team with a new staff like we have to establish a system, you’re going to be missing some players, which is going to hurt a little bit.”
Local TV and radio deals have yet to be announced. The June 22 home game vs. the Liberty will be televised nationally by ESPN2.
Ticket prices have yet to be made public, and the Aces are the only team on the WNBA website that doesn’t yet offer an option to buy single-game tickets.
The Aces will have a nine-day break from July 22 to 31. The WNBA All-Star Game is July 28 in Minneapolis.
Review-Journal reporter Sam Gordon contributed to this report. Bill Bradley is AME/Sports of the Review-Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2909. Follow @billbradleyLV on Twitter.