Williams Arena will host Lynx playoff home games

The Minnesota Lynx huddle up before a game against the New York Liberty. Photo by Abe Booker, III
The Minnesota Lynx huddle up before a game against the New York Liberty. Photo by Abe Booker, III /

The Minnesota Lynx announced Thursday that Williams Arena will host home playoff games for the 2017 postseason.

According to a release, the decision to use Williams Arena was made to avoid conflicts with Minnesota Wild preseason games and other events at Xcel Energy Center, where the Lynx temporarily reside. Target Center, where the Lynx normally play, isn’t scheduled to reopen until October, well beyond the WNBA playoff window. Williams Arena, located on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis, won’t host any Golden Gophers basketball games until November.

Williams Arena last hosted the Lynx in 2007. The official seating capacity is 14,625, so Lynx playoff attendance records are in no danger of being broken this year (Over 19,300 went to Target Center for Game 5 of last year’s WNBA Finals). However, raucous crowds generate a thunderous blare at the 89-year-old facility, giving home teams an audible edge.

“With the stands filled with dedicated Lynx fans, the Barn will provide a home court advantage like no other for what we hope will be another WNBA championship run for the Lynx and the entire state of Minnesota,” University of Minnesota Athletics Director Mark Coyle said in a statement.

A playoff run at Williams Arena sets up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Lindsay Whalen. Fans packed the arena to watch her play with the Gophers women’s basketball team. Now, Whalen could win a championship at the place where she became a household name.

More from High Post Hoops

“I have a lot of fond memories and just being over there is going to be cool. It’s such a great campus. We have the best fans and we’re all looking forward to seeing them over at the U,” she said.

If attendance is any indication, the Lynx won’t have trouble bringing their followers along. Attendance for home games is up considerably from last year, even with a transitory venue.

Williams Arena has no air conditioning, so the Lynx will foot the bill for a temporary system.