The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) is a women's professional basketball league in North America. It is currently composed of twelve teams. The league was founded on April 24, 1996 as the women's counterpart to the National Basketball Association (NBA), and league play started in 1997. The regular season is played from June to September with the All Star game being played midway through the season in July and the WNBA Finals at the end of September until the beginning of October.
Many WNBA teams have direct NBA counterparts and play in the same arena. The Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Dallas Wings, Las Vegas Aces, and Seattle Storm are the teams that do not share an arena with a direct NBA counterpart, although three of the six (the Dream, the Wings and the Sky) share a market with an NBA counterpart, and the Storm shared an arena and market with an NBA team at the time of its founding. The six aforementioned franchises, along with the Los Angeles Sparks, are all independently owned.