The WNBA has issued the following release: pic.twitter.com/YumtTwHZvt
— WNBA (@WNBA) August 7, 2018
After countless delays at the airport and over 24 hours of travel, the Aces arrived in Washington, DC, around 3:45 p.m. for an 8 p.m. tipoff.
Deciding the risk of injury was too great, the Aces did something no team in WNBA history has done: They decided not to play.
The controversial decision impacted not only the WNBA playoff race but also the customers (some of whom were already at Capital One Arena when the game was cancelled).
In a statement to ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel, WNBA President Lisa Borders explained the league’s decision:
“In the end, given the limited number of days remaining in the season and arena availability, we decided to delay the start of the game until 8 p.m. to give the Aces as much time as possible between arrival in Washington, D.C. and tipoff.
“While not ideal, it was the best available solution to accommodate both our fans and the scheduling challenges. Since the Aces chose not to play, the result is a forfeit.”
The Mystics, who were expecting a large crowd on Breast Cancer Awareness night, had to give fans refunds and tickets to another game.
Awarded a win by the league, Washington (17-11) moves to a tie for third in the standings—which, if the season ended today, would give them a bye into the semifinals.