The 25th WNBA season will have a much more normal feel to it than its 24th.
On Tuesday, the WNBA announced the upcoming regular season will begin May 14 and feature the league's 12 teams playing at their home venues. The league will temporarily pause from July 15 through Aug. 11 due to the Summer Olympics, and teams will play a total of 32 games through the final day of the regular season scheduled for Sept. 19.
The 2020 campaign was shifted to the bubble site at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fan attendance for upcoming games will be determined and announced by individual clubs, and all teams will follow local health and safety recommendations.
"As we tip-off this historic season with teams returning to play in their home markets, we celebrate the impact the WNBA has made on generations of young and diverse athletes and on sports and society since 1997," WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a prepared statement. "Together with our fans and partners, we look ahead to how the outstanding athletes of the WNBA will continue to provide the best women’s basketball in the world while also driving change, striving for justice and equality, and impacting future generations. In the game and beyond, we will continue to say, Count It, as a way to celebrate the WNBA’s impact not only on the game, but culture at large."
A complete WNBA television schedule will be announced in the coming weeks. The league is adopting a "series" model to add back-to-back games between two clubs to its calendar to limit travel throughout the spring and summer months.
The traditional playoffs and Finals format will following the regular season and be used to determine the 2021 champion.