The Lynx, at 17-2, have the best record in the WNBA. The playoffs are inevitable and at this point, the WNBA Finals are in their sights. But there’s one issue: If they do make it that far, those games won’t be played the Xcel Energy Center, where they’ve played all this season.
The Lynx announced Thursday that postseason games would be held at Williams Arena at the University of Minnesota to accommodate the Wild’s preseason schedule. The Wild’s home preseason schedule begins September 21 against Winnipeg.
The WNBA’s top two teams automatically receive byes into the best-of-3 playoff semifinals. The championship round is a best-of-5 series.
While it would be an interesting homecoming for Lynx veteran and former Gophers great Lindsay Whalen, taking the most critical part of the season to another court can’t be ideal.
The Lynx are already temporarily displaced this season by ongoing renovations at the Target Center, set to re-open in October. However, attendance at Xcel has exceeded last year’s average at this point in the season at the Target Center.
“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 Timberwolves and Lynx president Chris Wright in a statement released Thursday. “This regular season has been a tremendous success both on and off the court and we thank our amazing fans for their support.”
The Lynx have previously played three preseason games and one regular season game at Williams Arena in the course of the team’s history. They’ve also played two preseason games at the Sports Pavilion.
The final Lynx regular season game is Sept. 3 against the Mystics at Xcel. The Lynx won the WNBA title in 2011, 2013 anbd 2015 and finished runner-up to Los Angeles last season.