MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Lynx today announced that Williams Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota will be the team’s venue for all potential home games during the 2017 WNBA Playoffs. The Lynx have called Xcel Energy Center home during the regular season this year due to a previously announced major renovation and complete shutdown of Target Center taking place during the summer and early fall of 2017. The team will move from Xcel Energy Center to Williams Arena to accommodate the Minnesota Wild 2017-18 preseason schedule and other building events.
“We want to thank the Xcel Energy Center and the city of St. Paul for providing the Lynx an incredible home court advantage for the 2017 regular season, one in which we have seen our attendance increase and our fanbase grow exponentially,” said Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx president Chris Wright. “This regular season has been a tremendous success both on and off the court and we thank our amazing fans for their support.”
In order to secure the maximum comfort and experience for Lynx fans during the 2017 WNBA Playoffs, the Lynx have accepted the financial responsibility of temporary air conditioning systems at Williams Arena.
“Our fan base is among the most passionate and loyal in all of sports, and we continue to strive to give them a first-class fan experience,” continued Wright. “It is paramount that we give our fans a first-class facility to enjoy our product and playing at the historic Williams Arena, a staple for Minnesota basketball for many generations, will provide the home court advantage that our team has come to expect. Thank you to the University of Minnesota for helping set the stage for what we hope to be another exciting postseason of Lynx basketball.”
“We are excited to partner with an amazing organization like the Minnesota Lynx and be a small part of its postseason run by hosting the team’s postseason games at Williams Arena,” said University of Minnesota Athletics Director Mark Coyle. “Williams is one of the most historic and unique venues in all of basketball, and our programs know it creates one of the greatest home court advantages in the sport. With the stands filled with dedicated Lynx fans, the Barn will provide a home court advantage like no other for what we hope will be another WNBA championship run for the Lynx and the entire state of Minnesota.”
“We’d like to thank the city of St. Paul, Mayor Coleman and the fine folks associated with the Xcel Energy Center for being tremendous hosts during our 2017 regular season,” said Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve. “Our fans have responded and then some with our move to St. Paul and we expect nothing less from them as we take our tremendous home court advantage to the University of Minnesota.”
The Lynx have played four previous games – one regular season and three preseason – at the University of Minnesota, with two games at Williams Arena, a preseason contest on May 1, 2005 vs. the Connecticut Sun and a regular season game on July 6, 2007 vs. the Sacramento Monarchs. The Lynx have also played two preseason contests at The Sports Pavilion, May 13, 2006 vs. the Seattle Storm and May 15, 2012 vs. the Chicago Sky.
“As a former Golden Gopher, I am excited to once again play at my alma mater,” said Lynx point guard and former University of Minnesota women’s basketball player Lindsay Whalen. “I have a lot of fond memories and just being over there is going to be cool. It’s such a great campus. I love the U of M, so I’m looking forward to it. We have the best fans and we’re all looking forward to seeing them over at the U.”
2017 WNBA Playoff tickets will go on sale to the general public at a later date once the team has clinched a playoff berth.