Sports

Atlanta Dream moving two games vs Caitlin Clark-led Fever to NBA arena

ATLANTA — (AP) — To accommodate much larger crowds, the Atlanta Dream are moving their two regular-season home games against Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever to the home of the NBA Hawks.

The Dream's regular venue, 3,500-seat Gateway Center Arena near the city's airport, is the smallest in the WNBA. The Hawks play downtown at State Farm Arena, which can hold more than 17,000.

Atlanta is scheduled to host the Fever on June 21 and Aug. 26. Those games will feature the last three No. 1 overall picks in the WNBA draft: Clark and her teammate Aliyah Boston. as well as Dream star Rhyne Howard.

“Atlanta Dream fans are the best in the WNBA,” team President and COO Morgan Shaw Parker said in a statement. “Their passion and excitement led us to the most sellouts in the league over the last two years and has created a demand for tickets that far outpaces the supply inside our current arena, which is why we wanted to find a way to give more fans access to experience these two games."

Clark's record-setting college career ahead of her draft by the Fever has sparked unprecedented interest in the WNBA. She scored 20 points but committed 10 turnovers in her first professional game, a loss at Connecticut on Tuesday.

Atlanta opened the season Wednesday with a 92-81 victory at Los Angeles.

The Dream played at State Farm Arena, formerly known as Philips Arena, from their founding in 2008 until 2016, when the team moved to Georgia Tech's campus arena for two seasons. After returning to the Hawks' arena in 2019, the team moved to the new Gateway Center Arena in nearby College Park the following year.

The largest crowd in franchise history was 11,609 for the inaugural game against the Detroit Shock in 2008. The Dream hope to eclipse that mark for both games against the Fever.

In April, the Dream became the second team in WNBA history to sell its entire season ticket allotment. Ten of its 20 games at Gateway Center Arena are already listed as sellouts.

“We are excited to welcome our loyal Dream fan base, along with new fans, to State Farm Arena,” coach Tanisha Wright said. “We want to create the ultimate home court advantage and pack the house with red and blue as we work toward another playoff push this year.”

___

WNBA: https://apnews.com/hub/wnba-basketball