Los Angeles Sparks will play pre-season game at Long Beach Pyramid

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Photo courtesy of NBA/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Sparks will tip-off the 2010 season with two preseason games outside of Los Angeles, reaching more fans in Southern California.

The Sparks will play the first WNBA game in San Diego on Saturday, May 1 at Viejas Arena against the China National Team.  The Sparks second preseason game will take place at Long Beach State University’s Pyramid versus the San Antonio Silver Stars on Saturday, May 8.

Tickets for both preseason games will go on sale Wednesday, February 24 at 10:00 a.m.  Pricing for the game at Viejas Arena starts at just $9 while tickets for the game at The Pyramid will be general admission, $13 in advance or $15 day of game.  Sparks season ticket holders will receive special pricing for both games including discounts on courtside seats.

The inaugural WNBA game in San Diego will be a rematch of sorts for USA Basketball Women’s National Team Members Tina Thompson, DeLisha Milton-Jones and Candace Parker as they take on the team they defeated in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

“”We have the amazing opportunity to play against two great teams in two outstanding facilities,”” said Sparks President Kristin Bernert.  ““Many of our fans are located in Long Beach, and we have season ticket holders that travel from as far as San Diego.  These games give us an opportunity to bring the games to them, while also creating new fans throughout Southern California.””

The China National Team comes to the United States to play two preseason games against WNBA opponents.  After facing the Sparks at Viejas Arena, they will travel to San Antonio to take on the Silver Stars.  The Sparks will then make the short trip to Long Beach for a rematch against the Silver Stars, their Western Conference foes, after the 2009 season series ended with a 2-2 tie.

The Sparks have long ties with Long Beach State University, having last played on the campus in 2004, while current VP/GM Penny Toler is a distinguished alumna and has her jersey retired in The Pyramid.  The Sparks will also hold an open practice at the Pyramid on Friday, May 7 for fans to meet the 2010 team, watch practice, and participate in autograph sessions.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts are offering Sparks fans who want to make the trip to San Diego a special $89/night rate at the Westin Gaslamp hotel, the official Sparks fan hotel.  For more information or to reserve a room, call 619-239-2200 or visit www.westin.com/gaslampquarter and mention promo code “LA SPARKS.”

The Sparks tip-off their 14th season in Phoenix against the Defending Champion Mercury on May 15 at 11am and then at home on Friday, May 28 against the Washington Mystics.  Season tickets holders will receive discounts and priority seating for preseason games.  Become a Sparks “MVP” and season ticket holder today by calling 1-877-44-SPARKS or by visiting www.LASparks.com.

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