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Something is missing from WNBA All-Star skills contest: Fans

(Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)

The WNBA All-Star skills contests, including the 3-point shootout and skills competition, were held at McCormick Place, a convention center in Chicago, Illinois.

But amid a weekend of festivities, one ingredient was noticeably absent from the Saturday afternoon event: Fans.

The venue is hosting the Nike Nationals youth tournament this weekend, and the bleachers around the court featured Elite Youth Basketball League players. Fans could watch from a viewing party outside or on ESPNU. The skills competition was set to air on ESPN but was bumped to ESPNU after the men’s doubles final at Wimbledon ran long.

The choice of venue and the lack of fan access garnered criticism online. In contrast, the All-Star Game will be held Sunday at Wintrust Arena, a 10,387-seat venue.