The 2019 WNBA Schedule is here! And so is your breakdown of five can’t-miss Mercury games at Talking Stick Resort Arena this summer.
- PHOENIX vs. SEATTLE, Tuesday, September 3, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Mercury-Storm is such a marquee matchup that the league and ABC decided it should tip-off the entire WNBA season after that epic five-game Semifinals series last year. That game is in Seattle, but the X-Factor will get its shot at the rivalry in early September—a game that will also be televised nationally. It’s a matchup between three-time champion organizations and includes the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer (Diana Taurasi), all-time leader in assists (Sue Bird), 2017 scoring champion and future all-time leader in blocks (Brittney Griner), 2018 MVP and Finals MVP (Breanna Stewart), and the AP’s 2018 Comeback Player of the Year (DeWanna Bonner). The Mercury were four minutes away from a Finals berth, the Storm swept the Finals, and it’s the only tilt between these two long-time foes in Phoenix. Can’t miss it.
- PHOENIX vs. LAS VEGAS, Friday, May 31, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
The Mercury have ruled the WNBA desert for 22 years and have won three championships behind two No. 1 picks—Taurasi and Griner—but the new challenger within driving distance visits Phoenix for the Mercury’s Fry’s Food Stores Opening Night. The second-year Las Vegas Aces, with 2018 No. 1 pick and Rookie of the Year A’ja Wilson and 2017 No. 1 pick Kelsey Plum, will visit the Valley with the 2019 No. 1 who will be selected by the Aces in April. It’s the established winners vs. the up-and-comers. Plus, there’s just nothing like the festivities surrounding opening night, and it’ll be the Mercury’s 16th consecutive opening night sell-out, for sure. Can’t miss it.
- PHOENIX vs. MINNESOTA, Friday, September 6, 7 p.m.
It’s one of the best rivalries in the WNBA. You probably don’t need the stats but here are some of them: seven championships between the two teams over the last 12 seasons, the last five playoff series meetings between them has decided who goes the Finals, and four times the series winner has won it all. Six members of Team USA between the two rosters, plus a host of other Olympians and national team coaches. Friday, September 6, will mark Minnesota’s lone visit to the Valley of the Mercury in 2019. The arena always has a little extra juice for this one. Can’t miss it.
- PHOENIX vs. LOS ANGELES, Friday, June 14, 7 p.m.; Sunday, June 23, 3 p.m.
How many rivals can one team have? Whatever the correct answer is for the Mercury, it includes the Sparks, for sure. BEAT LA isn’t just a slogan, it’s a year-round goal, but that’s what happens when you’ve battled as two of the original WNBA franchises since 1997 and have met 83 times in the regular season. The Mercury will roll out the not-so-welcome mat twice for the Sparks in 2019, both in a span of 10 days in June. As a five-time NBA Champion, new Sparks head coach Derek Fisher has played in front of some loud crowds, but surely nothing like the X-Factor. Choose between a raucous Friday night or a Sunday Funday afternoon—or better yet, come to both. Can’t miss it.
- PHOENIX vs. CONNECTICUT, Wednesday, August 14, 7 p.m.
Something about these matchups is starting to feel a little personal, right? Maybe it’s the fact that it’s two really good teams loaded with talent and championship aspirations. Maybe it’s the fact that after never meeting in the postseason before, they’ve played two down-to-the-wire single elimination playoff games the last two years. Maybe it’s the fact that lower-seeded Phoenix has gone into Connecticut and eliminated the higher-seeded Sun two years in a row. To-do list for the Sun for this game: don’t anger the GOAT, don’t clap at the GOAT, don’t Instagram about the GOAT. To-do list for the Merc: just win. To-do list for you: get your tickets. Can’t miss it.