The WNBA officially released that the Connecticut Sun’s Mohegan Sun Arena would be the site of the 2010 All-Star game on July 10. Due to the September World Championships, the game will pit Team USA against WNBA stars like the league did in 2004 at Radio City Music Hall because of the Olympic break.
The difference this season is the selection process. The voting will be as usual, but if the player is on the national team roster, they’ll play on that team. Otherwise they’ll play for the WNBA stars.
Although another slight to Western Conference teams, which have only hosted the game once in the league’s 13-year history, Connecticut is a natural site this summer. University of Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma is the national team coach and Team USA could feature an entire UConn roster if Candace Parker (Tennessee) and Sylvia Fowles (LSU) weren’t so good.
“We remain open to having our All-Star game and festivities in the best possible place we can,” WNBA president Donna Orender said on the teleconference call. “We want to make it accessible to all of our fans. So, we continue to have business discussions because it is a business event as well. We try to take it as a long-term challenge to see if we can come up with a few cities down the road with Connecticut being part of the rotation on a regular basis.”
The Sun hosted a traditional All-Star game last year that featured five UConn alums, including the Storm’s Sue Bird and Swin Cash, who was named the game’s MVP. Auriemma attended and received a standing ovation from the sold out crowd (9,518).
Only New York has hosted the All-Star game three times beginning with the inaugural All-Star game in 1999. Connecticut also hosted the summer classic in 2005.