ARLINGTON, Texas — The WNBA season has officially kicked off, with the first matchups scheduled on Friday. But we have to say, we hope you "Pack The Park" to see DFW's own Dallas Wings this year!
The Wings will take to the hardwood in their home opener against the Atlanta Dream this weekend, and WFAA has you covered on how to watch (hint... our channel) and how to purchase tickets and help mascot Lightning cheer on the team this season.
According to ESPN's preseason Power Rankings, the Wings are No. 5 out of the 12 teams in the league. And with two preseason games under their belt, where the Wings went 1-1, new head coach Latricia Trammell said the team is working on their chemistry and defense.
The organization announced their final 12-player roster Wednesday, which included Wings' veteran point leader Arike Ogunbowale, newly-acquired Natasha Howard, recently extended center Teaira McCowan and All-Star Satou Sabally. And notably, they have added two standout rookies, NCAA's leading-scorer Maddy Siegrist and Ashley Joens. DeShields, who was expected to start, is out with a knee injury.
Will this be the best roster they've ever had with all the new faces? Time will tell.
Last year, the Wings went 18-18, which landed them right in the middle of the pack -- ranked No. 6 overall. The team also advanced to the playoffs and advanced after its postseason win.
However, heartbreak clouded The Park as they lost Game 3 against the Connecticut Sun.
Going into Saturday's home opener as a new coach, with a new staff and lineup, Trammell spoke about her players' strengths.
“Being able to push the pace. Players that can play multiple positions. We can score outside. We can score inside. We have length around the defensive end," Trammell said in a press conference Thursday. "I keep repeating this over and over, but those are areas that I think that we're going to be really good at. Just keeping the up tempo."
Let's send them all the positivity and good luck as they start their road to a championship for North Texas!
When and how to watch the home opener
Dallas will once again start their regular season by taking on the Dream, where former Wings star Allisha Gray landed in a trade deal in the offseason.
The game is set to tipoff Saturday, May 20, at 12 p.m. CT at the College Park Center in Arlington. Fans can also watch live on WFAA (ABC) Channel 8.
For the Wings' full broadcast schedule this season, click here. You can also watch Wings games and other WNBA teams via the WNBA, ESPN and Bally Sports apps.
‘Pack The Park’
As you know by now, the Wings play all of their home games at College Park Center, lovingly called "The Park." It's located in downtown Arlington in the College Park District, just east of the main UT Arlington campus at 600 S. Center Street.
The Wings organization is giving away 'Pack the Park' T-shirts to the first 100 fans who attend the home opener Saturday, May 20.
The stadium seats 6,251 people.
Here are this year's theme nights inside The Park:
How to purchase tickets
If you would like attend the home opener or any Wings basketball game, head over to the team's website: https://wings.wnba.com/ticket-central/. You can purchase a plan or single game tickets.
The Wings' full historic 40-game schedule is out. Click here!
Meet the Wings players you should know
Arike Ogunbowale is entering her fifth season as starting point guard for the Dallas Wings. She's also the team's leading scorer averaging 19.7 points per game, and she has finished in the top five in the WNBA in scoring for each season since she was drafted out of Notre Dame in 2019.
She also became the third-quickest player to reach 1,000 career points in WNBA history and then the third-fastest to reach 1,500. And Ogunbowale is a 30-point-per-game machine -- racking up that accolade in 12 games last season.
Ogunbowale was recently named to the 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30: Sports List.
Last year, she was named a WNBA All-Star for the second year in a row. In 2021, she was named the WNBA All-Star Game MVP.
Last offseason, Ogunbowale sign a contract extension with the Wings that will keep her with the squad through 2025.
Natasha Howard is another new player who was acquired via a three-team trade in January 2023 with the New York Liberty and Connecticut Sun.
The two-time WNBA All-Star and three-time WNBA champion is entering her 8th season.
With the Liberty in 2022, Howard averaged 15.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists as a forward.
Her defensive game is one to applaud – she’s previously been named to the WNBA All-Defensive Team and the 2019 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year.
Another star player to watch for the Wings is returning forward Satou Sabally. Despite sitting out for much of the 2022 season due to injury, she’s coming back healthy this upcoming season.
The 2020 first-round pick will be taking the floor with an average of 11.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists.
The Wings are excited to have her back and expect her to play big this season.
New to the Wings last season, Texas native Teaira McCowan found her footing in the WNBA with the team.
In February 2023, the star center signed a multi-year deal with the Wings.
McCowan was key in sparking the surge to the playoffs last season and she said Dallas is where she wanted to be all along.
"I am so excited to continue to play for the Wings organization and to be able to call Dallas home for years to come, as this is where I wanted to be all along," McCowan said. "I believe we are putting something special together here in Dallas and I cannot wait to reunite with my teammates and compete for WNBA championships."
She's averaged about 11 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks over her four years in the WNBA.
When Ogunbowale had to sit out due to injury last season, rookie guard Veronica Burton stepped up big as the Wings’ point guard.
Burton’s success made her a standout player last season, becoming the franchise’s first rookie to start multiple games in the league.
The All-Rookie hopeful recently netted a career-high 15 points and four assists against the New York Liberty last season.
So, she may play a bigger role in this year’s lineup.
Crystal Dangerfield is one of the Wings’ newest players after being acquired via trade with the New York Liberty in January 2023. This will be her fourth year in the WNBA.
Last season, the guard average 5.5 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
Dangerfield was named WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2020 after averaging 16.2 points and nearly four assists when she played for the Minnesota Lynx.
Her backcourt game will bring some depth to the Wings.