WNBA

What is the WNBA Commissioner's Cup Championship? Who's playing, what to know, prizes, how to watch

The inaugural WNBA Commissioner's Cup Championship is set to take place at 9:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 12, when the Seattle Storm take on the Connecticut Sun at Footprint Arena in Phoenix, AZ.

The Commissioner's Cup was announced prior to the 2021 WNBA season, introduced as a "competition within a competition" as part of the celebration of the WNBA's 25th season. As the Commissioner's Cup culminates with the championship on Thursday, we've got you covered with a few key elements to know about the competition.

How to watch the Commissioner's Cup

Matchup: Seattle Storm vs. Connecticut Sun

Date: Thursday, Aug. 12

Time: 9:00 p.m. ET

Stream: Amazon Prime Video

What is the Commissioner's Cup?

The Commissioner's Cup is an in-season competition between all 12 WNBA teams for a prize pool of $500,000.

The Commissioner's Cup does not replace the WNBA Finals, but instead, is a separate element that added incentive to a handful of regular-season games. With each team in the league eligible - six in the Eastern Conference and six in the Western Conference - Commissioner's Cup play lasted throughout the entire first half of the season, leading into the Olympic Break.

A total of 60 regular-season games - 10 per team - were designated as "Cup games."

"Cup games" were the first home and road game played between intra-conference rivals. The team in each conference with the best record in "Cup games" goes on to compete in the Commissioner's Cup Championship.

In 2021, Seattle finished with the West's best record in "Cup games," while Connecticut finished atop the Commissioner's Cup Leaderboard in the East.

What are the teams playing for?

In addition to the Commissioner's Cup trophy, the $500,000 prize pool will be distributed among the two competing teams.

As WNBA rosters contain 12 players, each member of the winning team is eligible to earn $30,000, while each member of the losing team is eligible to earn $10,000. Additionally, the MVP of the Commissioner's Cup Championship will net $5,000 on top of their earnings.

The Commissioner's Cup Championship does not count towards regular-season standings.

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