Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
Las Vegas, NV–
For the first time in a long time, we attended the 2023 WNBA All Star Weekend as a fan. We wanted to see it how fans do. What has the league done since the last time the weekend visited Sin City.
The overall weekend was certainly filled with winning hands. Plenty of interactions with fans from current and former players along with fan experiences within the Mandalay Bay Convention Center areas.
In our minds, this was the most extensive hands-on experience the WNBA and its partners have provided fans to date. The interaction with partners like US Bank, Google, Gatorade, Dicks and KIA, the ability to make a first-class area for those who want to see fun activations but may not actually be going to the game.
Some fans we spoke to on Friday talked about the timing for the Skills Challenge. While we know that 1pm isn’t ideal, but does anyone really work full time on Friday and schools are out with many camps ending early due to the oppressive heat in Vegas, it should have been a non-factor for most.
A few other fans who said they drove in from Los Angeles to check out the action said that the Skills Challenge seemed a bit short for what they paid to see the event. We are not really sure how they could add more to the event. where sometimes people lose interest when you have too many competitors. We think the performance by Sabrina Ionescu was amazing and that type of talent setting records shows the WNBA has a lot of talent to show off for years to come.
Saturday night the fans packed the area to see all the stars of the league put in their best efforts. We will just leave it at that. The game for the first three quarters was more of what you could expect from a normal All Star Game.. lots of shooting and little or no defense present.
Many of the fans came to see Britney Griner back in the All Star game after missing last year being detained in Russia. A dunk and a couple break-away hoops seemed to delight fans.
Going into the second half of the season, Las Vegas seemed to be in very good shape to make it back to finals and possibly repeat their 2022 Championship.
Overall, the weekend was a good one for all fans including us, who saw the weekend from the outside for the first time since 2000, when we covered our first one of these weekends. I must say, a lot has changed since then, and I hope that it continues to do the same and fuel the younger generation for years to come.
Next up WNBA All Star Phoenix 2024… pack your sunblock… there are going to be lots of stars shining and plenty of heat next July.