ATLANTA – The Atlanta Dream will tip off the 2021 season in its new home at the Gateway Center Arena @ College Park Friday, May 14 against the Connecticut Sun at 7:30 p.m. ET, announced today by the WNBA.
Originally scheduled to play the 2020 season in Gateway Center Arena, the Dream will finally make their long awaited debut in the franchise’s new home on Atlanta’s Southside. The team will play 16 home games during the regular season, including three in May.
“This is the best women’s basketball league in the world which means there are no easy stretches in our schedule,” said head coach Nicki Collen. “The league worked hard to create the most competitive balance possible considering all the COVID related issues and the Olympics. We now have multiple two-game series within the structure of our regular season which will be new for fans and teams. We are simply excited to be in our new home arena and playing in front of fans.”
Due to the ongoing pandemic and the Olympic break, instead of the originally planned 36 games, the 2021 regular season will see each team play 32 games – 16 at home and 16 on the road. Each team will play three games apiece versus 10 opponents, and two games – one home and one away – against one team from the opposite conference. The regular season, currently scheduled to conclude on Sunday, Sept. 19 and be followed by a traditional playoffs and Finals format, will include a break from July 15 through Aug. 11. The schedule also incorporates steps to reduce travel, including the use of a “series” model whereby, in some instances a team is scheduled to play twice in one market, with those games being scheduled consecutively.
In the current format, the Dream will face the Las Vegas Aces only twice this season. Atlanta will play back-to-back games against the same team five times, three of which occasions are against Western Conference opponents Minnesota, Los Angeles and Dallas.
Fans will not want to miss Sue Bird, Finals MVP Breanna Stewart and the 2020 WNBA Champion Seattle Storm, who visit Atlanta for back-to-back games on June 9 and 11. Former North Gwinnett standout Lexie Brown and the Minnesota Lynx come to Atlanta on June 23, and Norcross High School graduate Diamond Deshields and the Chicago Sky visit Atlanta two times this season on May 19 and August 24.
Information on fan attendance during the 2021 WNBA season will be provided by individual teams in conjunction with league and federal, state and local health and safety protocols. Additionally, the WNBA recognizes that it may be necessary to postpone or cancel some games due to the pandemic and has, where possible, built flexibility into the schedule and is prepared to adjust as necessary.
Select elements for the WNBA’s historic 25th season include the inaugural Commissioner’s Cup, the WNBA All-Star Game, selection of The W25, the greatest game-changing players since the league’s inception in 1997, and the unveiling over the second half of the season and playoffs of the WNBA’s 25 Greatest Moments ranked from No. 25 through No. 1. Details on these season elements will be forthcoming.
The 2021 Atlanta Dream preseason schedule and theme games will be announced at a later date.
The Dream unveiled three new uniforms ahead of the 2021 season just last week, all three representing Atlanta’s rich and vibrant history, pulling inspiration from the city, the Civil and Human Rights Movement, and the city’s iconic music scene. The team’s white Heroine, red Explorer and anthracite Rebel uniforms will make their debut in College Park this summer.
Season tickets for the 2021 season are available now by calling 877-977-7729 or visiting www.atlantadream.net. More ticketing information and arena protocols will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Atlanta Dream will tip-off their 14th season in the WNBA in May 2021. Atlanta holds the No. 3 pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft. The organization, who will play its home games at the Gateway Center Arena @ College Park, has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in nine of its first 13 seasons.