The Phoenix Mercury will host the 2024 WNBA All-Star Game, commissioner Cathy Engelbert announced on Saturday during her press conference prior to the 2023 All-Star Game in Las Vegas. No date has been set, but next year's game will also take place in July.
"The WNBA is excited to bring AT&T WNBA All-Star back to Phoenix for the third time in our nearly three-decade history," WNBA Engelbert said. "Having an inaugural WNBA franchise in the Mercury host this two-day celebration is perfect as the basketball world focuses its eyes on the WNBA and today's greatest stars."
This is the third time that the Mercury have hosted the event, and first since 2014. They also had the second-ever All-Star Game in 2000. To show how much times have changed, the final score of that game was West 73, East 61, which was nearly identical to the halftime score of this year's game.
"As I've said from day one, we are going to make Phoenix one of the leading basketball destinations in the world and the 2024 WNBA All-Star Game is going to be an unbelievable experience," said Mat Ishbia, who bought the Mercury and Phoenix Suns this spring. "As the women's game continues to grow and reach new heights, we are going to put on an All-Star weekend that will accelerate that growth and elevate the league. I want to thank the WNBA and the entire Phoenix community for coming together to help bring the WNBA All-Star Game to the Valley. I couldn't be more excited to show the world what Phoenix basketball is all about."
It's notable that Engelbert made this announcement a full year ahead of time. She admitted that the league listened to fans, media and sponsors and made sure everyone would have ample time to prepare. In prior years, All-Star announcements have come as late as a few months before the game. "We all should get used to this," Engelbert said. "Hopefully, we're going to be announcing this consistently much further in advance than we have in the past."
Another change is that there will be an All-Star Game during an Olympic year. That has typically not happened in the past because of the mid-season break the league takes to allow players to compete internationally. Engelbert said it was important for the league to still hold an All-Star Game next season, however. The 2024 Olympics will happen in Paris from July 26-Aug. 11.