Mystics at ‘home,’ but surrounded by Storm’s colors at EagleBank
EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia is the site for Game 3 of the WNBA Finals Wednesday. The arena will host Game 4 on Friday, too, if the Washington Mystics win Game 3 to extend the series.
In a ironic twist, because the arena is the home of George Mason University basketball, the seats and other elements in the gym are green and gold the same colors as Washington’s opponent, the Seattle Storm.
EagleBank Arena is the third different home court the Mystics will use this year. After playing the regular season at Capital One Arena, they could not play their postseason home games there due to renovations. They played three home games at the Charles E. Smith Center at George Washington University before coming to EagleBank for the WNBA Finals, where a greater attendance is expected.
Kristi Toliver said the inconsistency of where “home” is was not an excuse for the Mystics.
But then Toliver joked, “But walking in here I was like, Are we still in Seattle? I was a little taken aback.”
Could there be time to change the seats from green and yellow to red and blue, perhaps?
“I didn’t even think about that until now,” Elena Delle Donne said. “Yeah, I don’t think that’s gonna be in the budget, so we’re just gonna have to make do with this one.”
There are efforts underway to give EagleBank a Mystics feel. The Mystics’ logo already has been installed at center court, and with enough fans in the seats, the green and yellow will not show as much.
It’s more important to the Mystics that they’ll get to play a Finals game in front of their fans at home for the first time in franchise history.
“We get the chance and opportunity to come home in our environment,” Natasha Cloud said. “We’re not in our actual arena, but George Mason is nice enough to host us. We’re here in front of our home crowd and we’re fighting.’”
“Hopefully at some point this won’t be a thing in the WNBA Playoffs,” Delle Donne added. “Right now, there’s two baskets, there’s a court, there’s a ball. All you got to do is play basketball.”