A WNBA team is getting booted from its home arena for another playoff game because 'Disney on Ice' is in town

·2 min read
Diana Taurasi.
Diana Taurasi gestures during the Phoenix Mercury's single-elimination matchup against the Seattle Storm on Sunday. AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
  • The Mercury will host the Las Vegas Aces for Game 3 of their WNBA playoff semifinal series.

  • But Phoenix's squad won't have access to its usual home arena because Disney on Ice is in town.

  • Instead, the pro athletes - including six 2021 All-Stars - will face off in a local college gym.

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For the second time in as many weeks, the Phoenix Mercury will be displaced and without its home-court advantage while hosting a high-stakes playoff game.

The WNBA squad will play Game 3 of its semifinal series with the second-seeded Las Vegas Aces at Desert Financial Arena - Arizona State University's gym - on Sunday because its usual home at the Footprint Center is scheduled to host "Disney on Ice."

No, that's not a joke.

Last week, the Mercury were booted from the Footprint Center to make way for a concert when they were meant to enjoy home-court advantage in a single-elimination game against the New York Liberty. Phoenix's notorious fan section - dubbed the X Factor - still came out in full force to support the Mercury, but their 7,000-seat replacement venue at a local college surely couldn't meet the demand for the game.

What's more, if the best of five Phoenix-Las Vegas series heads to a fourth game, the Mercury could play a third postseason matchup away from their home court. With the NBA's Phoenix Suns scheduled to face the Los Angeles Lakers in a preseason matchup at the Footprint Center that same day, as The Next's Alex Simon reports, it remains unclear where the Mercury and Aces would play their potentially decisive matchup.

Brittney Griner high fives her Phoenix Mercury teammates.
Brittney Griner (center) high fives her Phoenix Mercury teammates. AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Phoenix - who on Sunday upset the reigning champion Seattle Storm on the road - is more than deserving of playing in familiar territory during purported home games. The Mercury have three of the best players in the world in Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner, and Skylar Diggins-Smith on their side, and yet the team has been treated as an afterthought in its biggest moments.

Perhaps "Disney on Ice" can take its talent to Desert Financial Arena on Sunday instead of Phoenix's team and fanbase packing up and leaving. Or maybe, should Game 4 of the Mercury's series against Last Vegas come to fruition, the Suns can go play LeBron James and the Lakers in a college gym so that the WNBA playoff game gets the stage it deserves.

Can you imagine? Fat chance, but women's sports enthusiasts can dream of a day when their franchises are treated with as much reverence as "Disney on Ice" or a meaningless NBA preseason game.

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