Five Takeaways from the Fever’s 2023 Schedule

The 2023 Indiana Fever schedule is officially here. The 2023 season promises to be an exciting one, with new head coach Christie Sides leading a young and talented roster that should include the top pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft – the first time in franchise history that the Fever have had the first overall selection.

Though there are still a few months before the new season tips off (and a lot yet to happen in free agency and the draft), there are plenty of early storylines to watch in 2023.

Here are five quick takeaways from the Fever’s 2023 schedule.

1. Mark Your Calendars for Opening Night

The Fever will open the season at home next year, tipping off the season against the Connecticut Sun on Friday, May 19 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. That means Fever fans will get to be there in person to watch Sides’ first game as head coach and hopefully the number one pick’s debut.

It’s a compelling matchup as well, as the Sun reached the 2022 WNBA Finals. Connecticut boasts two All-WNBA forwards in Alyssa Thomas and Jonquel Jones, which should make for a good test for Indiana’s young frontcourt, which features three 2022 first-round picks in NaLyssa Smith, Emily Engstler, and Queen Egbo.

2. Full-Time Return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse

The Fever have played home games in multiple venues over the past three seasons, from the Orlando bubble in 2020 to a rotation between Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, and Hinkle Fieldhouse the past two summers during completion of Fieldhouse of the Future renovations.

The Fever will return to the fully renovated Gainbridge Fieldhouse on a full-time basis next summer, playing all 20 of their regular season home games in downtown Indianapolis. The three-phase, $360 million renovations to the building made it the second-largest project ever of its kind of an NBA/WNBA facility.

When Fever fans return to the Fieldhouse next season, they will be able to enjoy new concessions, updated restrooms, brand new seats, reimagined and new premium areas, upgraded technology and LEDS, and much more. Bicentennial Unity Plaza, a new open public space just to the north of Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Maryland Street, is scheduled to open in late spring or early summer.

3. Early Visit from the Champs

After opening the season at home, the Fever hit the road for their next three games, not returning to Gainbridge Fieldhouse until Sunday, June 4. But the wait will be worth it, as that second home game is a doozy.

The defending WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces will make their lone regular season visit to Indiana on that date. The Aces were a dominant force last season, tying Chicago for the best regular season record and racking up awards on their way to the title. The Aces boast the reigning league MVP (A’ja Wilson), Finals MVP (Chelsea Gray), All-Star Game MVP (Kelsey Plum), Most Improved Player (Jackie Young), and Coach of the Year (Becky Hammon).

The Fever have hopes of returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. What better way to test your mettle early than squaring off with the defending champs?

4. August Madness? Backloaded Home Schedule to Close Season

The most recognizable feature of the Fever’s 2023 schedule is the breakup of home and road games.

The Fever will play 16 of their first 24 games on the road, including two four-game road trips from June 22-29 and July 19-27. That’s a challenging slate for a young team, to be sure, but it also means the Fever will be rewarded later in the season.

The Fever do not have a multi-game road trip in August or September and play 12 of their final 16 games at home. That includes a stretch where Indiana will play 10 of 12 at home from July 30 to Sept. 1. They also close out the regular season at home on Sunday, Sept. 10 against Minnesota.

If the Fever are in position to make a playoff push, all those home games late in the year could be extremely beneficial. In any case, fans will have plenty of opportunities to see the Fever in person in the late summer.

5. Expanded Schedule for 2023

For the first time ever, WNBA teams will play 40 regular season games in 2023. That is an increase from 36 games last season and 32 in 2021.

The new schedule means the Fever will play all five Eastern Conference teams and two Western Conference opponents (Minnesota and Phoenix) four times, with two home and two road games against each of those opponents. They will play the remaining four Western Conference teams three times, with two home games against Dallas and Seattle and just one home game against Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

There is no major international competition in 2023, meaning there will be no mid-season Olympic break (like there was in 2021) or shorter window to finish in time for the FIBA World Cup (like they did last season). The regular season will end almost a full month later in 2023 than it did in 2022 (Sept. 10 as opposed to Aug. 14).