What to know about the Sparks’ 2023 schedule

The Sparks’ Curt Miller era will begin on May 19 at Crypto.com Arena against Phoenix Mercury, the WNBA announced Wednesday when announcing its regular season schedule.

Each team will play a league-record 40 regular-season games in 2023, and the Sparks, who have missed the playoffs in consecutive years, will play four times each against seven teams, including all five Western Conference opponents. They each play three times against the remaining four teams – Connecticut, Indiana, New York and Washington.

Miller, who was signed in October, will play his former team’s Connecticut Sun for the first time at home on June 18.

With back-to-back losses and the lingering effects of the pandemic, the Sparks are struggling to regain the attention of their once-proud fanbase. The team, which led the league for three straight seasons before the pandemic shut down arenas in 2020, averaged 5,653 fans per game last year, finishing sixth in the 12-team league. The Sparks led the 2019 WNBA with approximately 11,000 fans per game.

As Miller rebuilds the team on the court, the Sparks are hoping schedule changes can entice fans to attend. They will play a franchise-record 10 home games over the weekend and announce weekdays at 7:00 p.m. instead of the usual 7:30 a.m. The changes will “create more accessibility for our Sparks fan base,” team president Vanessa Shay said in a statement.

The Sparks will play back-to-back games against reigning WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces on May 25th and 27th, first at the Crypto.com Arena and then in Las Vegas. Former Sparks star Candace Parker returns to LA on June 9th and August 29th with Chicago Sky.

After the Sparks played what then-interim coach Fred Williams described as “one of the toughest schedules in WNBA history,” the team will not go more than three games in 2023. The Sparks played nine of their first 12 games last year on a 36-game calendar compressed for September’s FIBA ​​Women’s World Championship.

The Sparks’ most travel-intensive trip doesn’t come until the final week of the season, when the team plays in Connecticut on September 5, New York on September 7, and the September 10 regular-season finals in Seattle.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/sparks/story/2022-11-30/what-to-know-about-sparks-2023-schedule-wnba What to know about the Sparks’ 2023 schedule

Emma Bowman

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