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Women's National Basketball Association facts for kids

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Women's National Basketball Association
1024px-WNBA logo.svg.png
Sport Basketball
Founded April 22, 1996; 27 years ago (1996-04-22)
Motto "Watch Me Work"
Inaugural season [[1997 in sports|1997]]
No. of teams 12
Country(ies) United States
Most championships Houston Comets
Minnesota Lynx
(4 titles each)
TV partner(s) United States:

The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) is a professional basketball league in the United States. It is currently composed of twelve teams. The league was founded on April 22, 1996, as the women's "counterpart" to the National Basketball Association (NBA), and league play started in 1997.

The regular season is played from May to September, with the "All Star" game being played midway through the season in July (except in Olympic years) and the WNBA Finals at the end of September until the beginning of October. Starting in 2020, a midseason tournament, the Commissioner's Cup, will be added. Initially, regular-season Cup games were to be played through early July, followed by a final match in August; however, this schedule is subject to change due to disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Five WNBA teams have direct NBA counterparts and play in the same arena: Indiana Fever, Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, New York Liberty, and Phoenix Mercury. The Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Dallas Wings, Las Vegas Aces, Seattle Storm, and Washington Mystics do not share an arena with a direct NBA counterpart, although four of the seven (the Dream, the Sky, the Wings, and the Mystics) share a market with an NBA counterpart, and the Storm shared an arena and market with an NBA team at the time of its founding. The Dream, the Sky, the Sun, the Wings, the Aces, the Sparks, and the Storm are all independently owned.


The WNBA originated with 8 teams in 1997, and through a sequence of expansions, contractions, and relocations currently consist of 12 teams. There have been a total of 18 franchises in WNBA history.

As of the league's most recent 2019 season, the Las Vegas Aces (formerly the Utah Starzz and San Antonio (Silver) Stars), Los Angeles Sparks, New York Liberty, and Phoenix Mercury are the only remaining franchises that were founded in 1997.

Arenas listed below reflect those that had been intended for use in the 2020 season before COVID-19 led to an abbreviated season played entirely at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Conference Team City Arena Capacity Joined Head coach
Atlanta Dream College Park, Georgia Gateway Center Arena 3,500 2008 Nicki Collen
Chicago Sky Chicago, Illinois Wintrust Arena 10,387 2006 James Wade
Connecticut Sun Uncasville, Connecticut Mohegan Sun Arena 9,323 1999| Curt Miller
Indiana Fever Indianapolis, Indiana Hinkle Fieldhouse 9,100 2000 Marianne Stanley
New York Liberty Brooklyn, New York Barclays Center 17,732 1997 Walt Hopkins
Washington Mystics Washington, D.C. Entertainment and Sports Arena 4,200 1998 Mike Thibault
Dallas Wings Arlington, Texas College Park Center 7,000 1998| Brian Agler
Las Vegas Aces Paradise, Nevada Mandalay Bay Events Center 12,000 1997| Bill Laimbeer
Los Angeles Sparks Los Angeles, California Staples Center 18,997 1997 Derek Fisher
Minnesota Lynx Minneapolis, Minnesota Target Center 19,356 1999 Cheryl Reeve
Phoenix Mercury Phoenix, Arizona Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum 14,870 1997 Sandy Brondello
Seattle Storm Seattle, Washington
Everett, Washington
Alaska Airlines Arena
Angel of the Winds Arena
2000 Dan Hughes

An asterisk (*) in the table above denotes a franchise move; an italicized name in the associated map denotes the former presence of a franchise under that name at the location shown. See the respective team articles for more information.

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