WNBA teams will now fly charter for all postseason and select regular season games.
In a crucial step toward improving the overall player experience, the WNBA has announced that it will expand its charter flights program in 2023.
The WNBA charter flights program will now include every postseason game, the Commissioner’s Cup championship game, and select regular season contests for teams playing on back-to-back days. Last season, only the cup championship game and the Finals had league-approved charter travel.
“We continue the hard work of transforming the business of the league, and the ability to expand this program is a direct result of that,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said. “Since joining the league a few years ago, a goal of mine has been to enhance the overall player experience and, in that regard, make incremental improvements where we are able to do so and when we believe the economic model would support it for the long-term. I’m pleased that we are able to broaden the program this year for the players. As the league continues to grow, we will look to do more in the future.”
In an interview with Boardroom last summer, Engelbert said the league would start slowly improving its economic model and finding ways to make significant changes that make financial sense.
“We can’t just do things that are going to jeopardize the health of the league,” she told Boardroom, “but we want to start chipping away at that, as we feel confident as companies are stepping up to support the W.”
Last year, New York Liberty governors Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai were reportedly fined a record $500,000 — halved from $1 million on appeal — for violating the WNBA’s collective bargaining agreement by chartering multiple flights for the team during the second half of the 2021 season.
More From the W:
GAME PLAN PLAYERS: Clara Wu Tsai
As we gear up for Boardroom and CNBC’s Game Plan conference this summer, let’s learn more about one of the event’s featured speakers, BSE Global Vice Chair Clara Wu Tsai. In a first-of-its-kind partnership,…
Sue Bird Enjoys a Finer Retirement
Sue Bird and Corona have teamed up to make the Finer Recliner. She tells Boardroom exactly how she’s managed to relax now that her playing days are over. You won’t catch Sue Bird on…