The information comes hours forward of the beginning of the 2023 WNBA Draft and fewer than six weeks earlier than the common season ideas off on Could 19.
« Considered one of my principal objectives has been to boost the player-first expertise, » commissioner Cathy Engelbert mentioned, per ESPN.com’s M.A. Voepel. « Whereas recognizing in a rising league our dimension and scale, doing issues incrementally and chipping away at it’s the finest apply. »
In accordance with Voepel’s report, the league had traveled by way of industrial airways « virtually completely till 2019, » when Engelbert took over as commissioner. 4 years in the past, she accredited using constitution flights through the postseason in « circumstances the place groups needed to cross a number of time zones with only a day between video games. »
Nonetheless, there was a continued push for equality within the WNBA, particularly in the case of journey.
In March 2022, the New York Liberty have been fined $500,000 for taking chartered flights through the 2021 marketing campaign towards CBA guidelines.
The Affiliation expanded charters to everything of the WNBA Finals in 2022, in addition to for the visiting crew for the ultimate of the midseason Commissioner’s Cup.
« The subject of constitution flights has been raised often by gamers, though they signed off on the 2020 collective bargaining settlement with out charters, » Voepel wrote. « The WNBA has held agency that to take care of aggressive stability within the 12-team league, no crew can independently decide to constitution flights. The league additionally mentioned no franchise has come ahead to current the board of governors with sponsorship gives to pay for constitution flights for each crew, regardless of some studies the Liberty had performed that. »
The Los Angeles Sparks made headlines final August when members of the crew have been compelled to sleep on the airport following a win towards the Washington Mystics.
Per Voepel’s report, constitution flights can be utilized for the journey between the 2 video games of a back-to-back through the 2023 common season and there shall be 5 of these this yr.
The commissioner mentioned that whereas Monday’s announcement is only for the 2023 marketing campaign, the problem could possibly be checked out once more in 2024, because the WNBA could have its schedule altered by a monthlong break as a result of Paris Olympics.