MINNEAPOLIS - The playoffs have become a given for the Minnesota Lynx, who have become the most dominant team in the WNBA.
Where their fans will see them play is another matter.
The major remodel taking place at the Target Center forced the Lynx to move across the Mississippi to St. Paul and the Xcel Energy Center for the 2017 regular season. Trouble is, the Minnesota Wild are ready to begin their season, and other events are already booked so the Lynx announced Thursday that they will move to Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus when the playoffs begin.
“As a former Golden Gopher, I am excited to once again play at my alma mater,” said Lynx point guard and former University of Minnesota women’s basketball player Lindsay Whalen. “I have a lot of fond memories and just being over there is going to be cool. It’s such a great campus. I love the U of M, so I’m looking forward to it. We have the best fans and we’re all looking forward to seeing them over at The U.”
One challenge in making the move is that Williams Arena, known by many as The Barn, is not air conditioned. In order to secure maximum comfort for its loyal fan base, the Lynx will install and pay for temporary air conditioning systems.
"We are excited to partner with an amazing organization like the Minnesota Lynx and be a small part of its postseason run by hosting the team's postseason games at Williams Arena," said University of Minnesota Athletics Director Mark Coyle. "Williams is one of the most historic and unique venues in all of basketball, and our programs know it creates one of the greatest home court advantages in the sport. With the stands filled with dedicated Lynx fans, the Barn will provide a home court advantage like no other for what we hope will be another WNBA championship run for the Lynx and the entire state of Minnesota."
The Lynx have played at Williams Arena four time previously -- one regular season and three preseason - on the U of M campus, with two games at Williams Arena and two at The Sports Pavilion.
2017 WNBA Playoff tickets will go on sale at a later date once the team has clinched a playoff berth. The playoffs are set to begin September 7, and the Lynx are virtually guaranteed a playoff berth, They are currently 17-2, with the best record in the WNBA.