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Mystics announce 2021 preseason game schedule, will host the Dream at ESA

The lone home game on May 5 will not have fans.

Washington Mystics v Las Vegas Aces - Game Three
Elena Delle Donne and the Washington Mystics are gearing up for the 2021 WNBA season in less than a month!
Photo by David Becker/NBAE via Getty Images

On Saturday, the Washington Mystics announced their 2021 WNBA preseason schedule. The games are as follows:

  • Wednesday, May 5, 7 p.m. ET vs. the Atlanta Dream at the Entertainment and Sports Arena
  • Saturday, May 8, 2 p.m. ET vs. the Minnesota Lynx at Target Center

According to the team, the Mystics will not host fans at ESA for the May 5 game.

The Mystics’ 2021 regular season begins on May 15 when they host the Chicago Sky on Saturday, May 15 at ESA. There will be fans allowed at the game. However, given D.C. regulations, capacity will be limited to 10 percent. Since ESA’s capacity is 4,200 people, the arena can only hold about 420 people for the game. ESA is the smallest home arena in the WNBA.

While ESA’s small size can provide a strong homecourt advantage, especially when it is fully packed, think Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke University, that’s great. But in an era where capacity limits are the norm, I think the Mystics are selling themselves short.

To be clear, the Mystics’ release didn’t explicitly state how many people can go to games. That may be because it’s possible that indoor capacity limits may increase by mid-May. For example, if ESA can hold events at 25 percent capacity, 1,050 people can attend out of a listed capacity of 4,200 people.