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WNBA teams to play 40 games in 2023, Vegas to open at Seattle in what could be epic rematch

The defending champion Las Vegas Aces will be opening with a marquee matchup if Breanna Stewart remains with the Seattle Storm.

Las Vegas Aces v Seattle Storm - Game Four
A’ja Wilson edged Breanna Stewart in the 2022 MVP vote.
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The WNBA revealed its 2023 schedule Wednesday afternoon and each team will be playing 40 games this season, a league record. The full schedule can be viewed here.

The WNBA began with 28 games, moved up to 30 in its second season, up to 32 in its third season and up to 34 in its seventh season. It remained at 34 from 2003 until the wubble season of 2020, which was shortened to 22 games. 2021 was also shortened (32 games) because of a delayed start due to COVID; in 2022 the league played a then-record 36 games.

The 2023 season will begin on May 19 with the Washington Mystics hosting the New York Liberty and the Indiana Fever hosting the Connecticut Sun, both at 7 p.m. ET. The Mystics/Liberty game will be a high-profile one between a team that hopes to be a contender in Washington and a team that is on the rise in New York. If the Liberty acquire Breanna Stewart this offseason, then it will be an even bigger matchup and a showdown between Stewart and two-time MVP Elena Delle Donne of the Mystics.

If Stewart stays with the Seattle Storm, the highlight of opening weekend will be on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET when the Storm host the defending champion Las Vegas Aces. That is a rematch of last year’s semifinal series, which saw the Aces win 3-1. All four games were extremely close and Game 3’s overtime decision was ranked as the second-best game in WNBA history by ESPN. The Aces won that one in Seattle.

That semifinal series had the feel of a Finals series and it would be a highly anticipated rematch should Stewart again be involved. Aces forward/center A’ja Wilson received 31 first-place MVP votes last year and Stewart was second with 23.

The Aces will face their actual 2022 Finals opponent, the Connecticut Sun, on June 6, June 8 and July 1. That series will have a different feel to it with the Sun having new head coach Stephanie White. Curt Miller, who led them to the Finals last year, is now the head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks.

The 19th WNBA All-Star Game is scheduled for July 15 and the third Commissioner’s Cup championship game is scheduled for Aug. 15.