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The WNBA defending champion Chicago Sky are hosting the 2022 All-Star Game, the league confirmed on Thursday.
Annie Costabile of the Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier this month the game, currently scheduled for July 10, would be at Chicago's Wintrust Arena. The All-Star festivities will include a new two-day "WNBA Live" event that will allow fans to interact with players, entertainment and pop culture experiences.
“The WNBA is excited to bring AT&T WNBA All-Star 2022 and an innovative new ‘WNBA Live’ event to Chicago, a city that showed such electric support for the Chicago Sky and the WNBA throughout last season and especially during the WNBA Finals presented by YouTube TV,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a league release. “We are thrilled to turn AT&T WNBA All-Star 2022 into a weekend-long event that will give WNBA fans incredible opportunities to engage with our brand and partners who have stepped up to support the WNBA. We look forward to unveiling exciting details regarding ‘WNBA Live’ in the weeks to come.”
The WNBA Live event will be held at at McCormick Place, the host of the 2022 Tournament of Champions and the Girls Nike Nationals. On Saturday, July 9, WNBA stars will conduct practices at the indoor arena there for Nike TOC and Girls Nike Nationals participants. The 3-point contest and WNBA skills challenge will be held from there at 3 p.m. ET and broadcast live on ESPN.
Chicago hosts for first time
This will be the first time Chicago has ever hosted the WNBA All-Star Game. The city recently hosted the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, however. The last two WNBA All-Star Games have been played in Las Vegas, both times at the Ace's Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay.
"I look forward to welcoming the WNBA All-Star 2022 championship and festivities to our city," Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot said in the release. "Chicago is a city of sports fans, and we're thrilled to cheer on the Chicago Sky as they defend their title at Wintrust Arena. I'm grateful to AT&T and the WNBA for choosing Chicago for this exciting event as well as the Chicago Sky for continuing to represent the best of our city."
The Sky had a significant presence at last year's All-Star Game, with Candace Parker, Kahleah Copper and Courtney Vandersloot playing in the game and Allie Quigley winning the 3-point contest. All four players remain with the Sky entering the 2022 season, which the team is scheduled to begin on May 6 at home against the Los Angeles Sparks. They added 2019 WNBA Finals MVP Emma Meesseman.