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WNBA outlines plans for 2021 season, including a month-long break for Olympics

The Seattle Storm won the 2020 WNBA championship.Julio Aguilar/Getty

NEW YORK — The WNBA will play a 32-game schedule that includes mini two-game series in the same city to reduce travel amid the coronavirus pandemic, the league announced Tuesday.

The season opens May 14, with New York hosting Indiana — one of four games that night. Seattle will receive its rings for winning the WNBA title last season when the Storm host the Las Vegas Aces in a finals rematch the next day.

The regular season will conclude Sept. 19 and be followed by the traditional playoffs format. The league will take a break for the Tokyo Olympics from July 15 through Aug. 11.


The WNBA played a 22-game schedule last season while in a bubble at IMG Academy. The league played a 34-game schedule in 2019.

The new format of two games in the same city is similar to the model used by the NBA this season.

Other highlights of the schedule include Candace Parker and the Chicago Sky hosting her former team the Los Angeles Sparks for a weekend series May 28-30. Parker and the Sky visit Los Angeles a week later on June 5.

The league is in its 25th season and will include the inaugural Commissioner’s Cup, the WNBA All-Star Game, selection of The W25, the greatest game-changing players since the league’s inception in 1997, and the unveiling over the second half of the season and playoffs of the WNBA’s 25 Greatest Moments, ranked from No. 25 through No. 1.

The WNBA draft is Thursday night.