LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Sparks begin pursuit of their fourth WNBA title on May 16 against the defending-champion Washington Mystics as part of the first ever 36 game schedule. The matchup will be televised on ESPN at 1 p.m. PT. The WNBA has expanded the schedule to 18 home games and the Sparks will play their home opener at STAPLES CENTER on May 31 against the Connecticut Sun.
The WNBA is also launching a new Commissioner’s Cup. The Sparks first home and road game against each Western Conference opponent, totaling ten games from May 15 to July 10, will count towards cup standings in addition to regular season standings. The top cup team from each conference will play in a Commissioner’s Cup Championship game with a special prize pool. The title game will not count towards the regular season standings.
The Sparks have five nationally televised games on ESPN networks. In addition to the season opener on ESPN, the Sparks will be on ABC when they play at the Minnesota Lynx at noon PT on June 7. The team will be on ESPN2 three times: June 16 versus the Las Vegas Aces at 7 p.m. PT, June 23 at home against the Phoenix Mercury at 7 p.m. PT, and Aug. 25 when LA plays at the Chicago Sky at 5 p.m. PT. Additional nationally televised games on CBS Sports Network, NBATV and Twitter, as well as the local broadcast schedule, will be announced at a later date.
The WNBA will take a month-long break for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics between July 11 and Aug. 15. All-WNBA point guard Chelsea Gray and 2016 MVP Nneka Ogwumike are part of the current USA Basketball pre-Olympic training program. The Sparks will play the Storm, Mercury and Dallas Wings four times apiece and the remaining eight teams three times each.
The Sparks are looking to earn a league-leading 20th playoff berth and their ninth straight trip to the postseason after finishing last season 22-12 and reaching the WNBA Semifinals. To see the full schedule and purchase tickets, visit our tickets page.