The 2017 WNBA All-Star game will be the the first of its kind in Seattle since the 2001 MLB All-Star game.
The WNBA selected Seattle to host its 2017 All-Star Game.
The league’s midseason showcase will be played July 22 (12:30 p.m. PT) at KeyArena and televised on ABC.
“That is an incredible market,” WNBA President Lisa Borders said when asked about Seattle and the Storm. “The team has been there going on 16 years. They have won championships. They were on the west coast. The weather is amazing, but what is even more amazing than the weather is the athletes that are there and the athletes that will be there to play in the All-Star game. We believe that our fans will be thrilled to watch these players and we believe our players will be delighted to be on the west coast. You usually see (the game) in the middle of the country or on the east coast so this will be very different and quite unique.”
The WNBA did not have an all-star game this year due to the 2016 Summer Olympics.
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“We are proud to share another great women’s basketball showcase event with the city and with our fans,” Storm co-owner Lisa Brummel said. “The WNBA All-Star Game features the top women’s basketball players in the world, and we are thrilled that Seattle will have a front-row seat.”
Coach Jenny Boucek believes securing the all-star game is a major accomplishment for the Storm, a two-time WNBA champion. After a two-year postseason drought, Seattle returned to the playoffs last season and was eliminated in the first round.
“We’ve proven to be a franchise that has a rare sustained and sustainable success on the business side and basketball side,” Boucek said. “We as a business have gone through several owners. We’ve gone from NBA affiliated to independent ownership and there’s a lot of challenges that we’ve shown – our business people – have shown great talent and resilience and passion for this game.
“That also speaks to our community in just the consistent support of women’s basketball and sports in general. It’s more rare how consistent our fan base is supporting women’s basketball and professional women’s basketball in particular. And that’s been a challenge across our nation, but it’s very consistent here. And they’ve been very loyal to us through our different phases that we’ve been in.”
The 2017 WNBA All-Star Game could be a showcase of Storm players, including nine-time WNBA All-Star Sue Bird, 2016 Rookie of the Year Breanna Stewart and 2015 Rookie of the Year Jewell Loyd. And reserve forward Ramu Tokashiki was 400 votes shy of making the all-star game in 2015.
In 2009 the Storm had three starters in the all-star game including Bird, Lauren Jackson and Swin Cash, who won the MVP. Bird set an all-star game record with 10 assists.
“On the basketball side, we’ve had as pro sports go, we’ve had sustained success,” Boucek said. “Although we’re in a rebuild now, that process has been pretty escalated. The generational torch so to speak is being passed in a beautiful, but pretty quick way relatively speaking. That speaks to the standard of excellence and the environment here in Seattle that’s conducive to our players feeling really supported and they don’t want to let our fans down. … It’s a symbiotic relationship between our franchise and the community. I think that’s rare and it’s even more rare in women’s basketball.”
The 2017 WNBA All-Star Game will be the first professional sports all-star game held in Seattle since the 2001 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The NBA held it’s all-star game in Seattle at the Kingdome in 1987.
“We are honored to host the 2017 WNBA All-Star Game, which will bring the best basketball players in the
world to the Emerald City,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement released by the WNBA. “Seattle is a basketball town, home to the two-time WNBA champion Seattle Storm and last year’s University of Washington women’s Final Four team. We are proud of this tradition and we will look forward to celebrating the WNBA in Seattle next summer.”
The challenge remains for the WNBA to sell its all-star showcase to Storm and women’s basketball fans.
“A successful event would look like a full building,” Borders said. “We will have as many people in the building as possible to experience first hand the best basketball anywhere with the most outstanding athletes anywhere. So success as it would look in any business would be lots of people experiencing what’s happening.”
Current Storm 360 Members and fans purchasing new memberships can secure 2017 All-Star Game tickets by calling (206) 217-WNBA. Individual tickets sale starts in spring 2017. For more ticket information visit StormBasketball.com or call the Storm at (206) 217-WNBA.