Key Dates for the 2023 WNBA Season: From Opening Night to the WNBA Finals

We break down the biggest dates, deadlines, and events ahead of the upcoming 2023 WNBA season.

Last Updated: May 11, 2023 8:03 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

You asked for more WNBA action, and you got it! The Women's National Basketball Association will celebrate it's 27th season in 2023 by expanding to a record-high 40 games per team. That's more crossovers, corner threes, and buzzer beaters than ever before. 

The defending champion Las Vegas Aces enter the season with the shortest WNBA Championship odds, but they're likely to face stiff competition from the radically re-vamped New York Liberty, who added a pair of former MVPs in Jonquel Jones and Breanna Stewart to join All-Star point guard Sabrina Ionescu. The Big Apple hasn't seen a trio this dominant since the 1970s, when Dave DeBusschere, Walt Frazier, and Willis Reed regularly roamed MSG.

Gear up for the eagerly anticipated return of the WNBA with these 10 can’t-miss dates from the 2023 season.

    May 18: Final roster cut-down date

    Expect plenty of mixed emotions in WNBA locker rooms on May 18. Roster cut-down day is the end of the road for some grizzled vets and the beginning of a long and fruitful career for several eager young prospects. Teams must pare down their rosters to 12 players by 5:00 p.m. ET.

    May 19: Regular season begins

    The WNBA will have four nationally televised games during its opening weekend, and none is bigger than Las Vegas vs. Seattle on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. ET. The Aces will be looking to begin their championship defense with a statement victory, while the Storm will be eager to prove there's life after Sue Bird, who finished her spectacular Hall of Fame career at the end of the 2022 season. 

    July 13-17: WNBA All-Star break

    Who said there's no rest for the wicked? The league's second and third-tier players will get to enjoy a much-needed five-day summer break during the heart of the season.

    July 14-16: WNBA All-Star Weekend

    Las Vegas will host the league's annual mid-season showcase for the third time since 2019. This year's star-studded event will include a 3-point contest and skills challenge as well as an interactive fan experience.

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    July 14: Mid-season cut down date

    Make no mistake about it, July 14 is a rough day to be an end of the rotation player. Several bench warmers will be given their walking papers as franchises are required to pare down their rosters.

    August 7: Trade deadline

    Last year's trade deadline was all sound and fury, signifying nothing. Skylar Diggins-Smith, Allisha Gray, and Bria Hartley were all available for the right price, but ended up staying in the same zip codes for the remainder of the season. Will we see a bigger shake-up in 2023 as teams jockey for position near the top?

    August 15: WNBA Commissioner’s Cup Championship Game

    What began as a curiosity in 2021 has now become a league fixture. The Commissioner's Cup consists of 60 games — 10 for each team — throughout the first half of the regular season and culminates in a single matchup between the Eastern and Western Conference clubs with the best records.

    Las Vegas won the Cup last year in a thrilling 93-83 win over Chicago. Aces point guard Chelsea Gray was named the game's MVP after racking up 19 points and five dimes in the high-scoring affair. 

    September 10: Regular season ends

    All 12 teams will be in action as the WNBA winds down its 40-game season. With any luck fans will be treated to another down-to-the-wire finish with two or more teams competing for favorable playoff seeding or a final postseason spot. 

    September 13: WNBA Playoffs begin

    The WNBA took a step in the right direction in 2022 by bidding adieu to single elimination games in the first two rounds of the playoffs in favor of best-of-three series. The new format was a hit with hoops-hungry fans and will continue in 2023.

    October 20: Last Possible Finals Date

    The WNBA's top two teams will have one more shot to cement their legacy on October 20 during a potential Game 5 showdown.

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