Who is All-Star Weekend for?
Maybe it’s for the players, to recognize their accomplishments for the first part of the season. Or possibly for the league, to advertise itself and bring its community of stakeholders together in one place. A lot of people think All-Star Weekend is for the fans, an event to thank the fans for their support and celebrate and entertain them.
In all likelihood, it’s some combination of all three. And that meant the 2022 WNBA All-Star Weekend had multiple contingents to satisfy, not just in Chicago but for the league’s worldwide fanbase.
From a player perspective, this past All-Star Weekend appeared to be a rousing success. Candace Parker said this event was the best one yet, and veterans and rookies alike were effusive in their praise for the orange carpet to the skills challenge/3-point shootout to the game itself. In terms of creating a showcase for the league’s players and their talents, the WNBA hit the mark.
But the league fell short in other respects, particularly in fan service. Multiple events were not open to the public, and fans who planned to attend were unaware of that decision until a day or two in advance. There was also confusing messaging from commissioner Cathy Engelbert as to why the WNBA organized the weekend that way.
In all, the joy of the 2022 WNBA All-Star Game likely papered over some of the issues from Saturday’s proceedings. There was still a lot to digest about the totality of the event, so I brought on Eric Nemchock, one of our contributors here at Swish Appeal, who attended All-Star Weekend as a fan and shared some insight on what fans were able to experience over the three days. If you’re interested in hearing more from Eric, check out his podcast, The Double Down.
You can listen to all that and more in the full episode embedded below, and to make sure you never miss a single show moving forward, subscribe to the Swish Appeal podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.