Lynx fans, you may need to add an event to next summer’s calendar.
According to sources, the WNBA and the Lynx are expected to announce the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game will be played at the newly-renovated Target Center in Minneapolis.
The Lynx have scheduled a “major announcement” for 2:15 p.m. Saturday at the Minnesota State Fair’s KARE 11 Barn on Nelson Street between Carnes and Judson Avenues.
With the Lynx as perennial WNBA championship contenders, the Timberwolves building momentum and the Target Center nearing a renovation completion, the market appears ripe for the WNBA’s feature event.
To that end, Lynx and Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor told the Star Tribune in July that the Lynx had made a bid for the game.
“I think right now is the right time for us to do it,” Taylor said at the time. “This is a team that is winning, with the great players we have. We have a new practice facility and the Target Center. Just everything. There is a lot to show off.”
The Lynx are still at or near the top of the WNBA heap; they lead Los Angeles by a game for the top seed in the upcoming playoffs with two games left to play. At this summer’s All-Star Game, held in Seattle July 18, the Lynx sent four players — Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson and Sylvia Fowles — as well as coach Cheryl Reeve and her staff. Moore won her second straight All-Star Game MVP award in the game.
Also, Target Center is about to reopen after an extensive — and expensive — remodel that forced the Lynx to move to Xcel Energy Center for the 2017 regular season. The team’s playoff games will be at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus.
The fan base is here, too, with the Lynx near the top of the league in attendance, averaging well over 9,000 fans a game. The game will add to an already sports-heavy lineup of events coming to the Twin Cities, a list that begins with the Super Bowl in February, the women’s and men’s NCAA Frozen Fours and the NCAA volleyball Final Four. The men’s basketball Final Four will be here in 2019.
The Lynx are one of six current WNBA teams that have not hosted the event. After next summer that list will shrink to five — Chicago, Indiana, Dallas, Atlanta and Los Angeles.
Reeve talked during the preseason last spring about how the franchise could benefit financially and in long-term fan support from the game being here. And some Lynx players have been actively campaigning for it to happen.
“I think Minneapolis is ready,” Moore said last month. “It is ready to host this game. Obviously we’ve been doing what we’re doing for the last seven seasons. It just makes sense to bring this game to Minny. It would be fun. And people: It’s beautiful here in the summer.”