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May 7, 2024 5:50 pm

Report: WNBA set to charter flights for all games

wnba commissioner caitlin clark

The WNBA appears ready to give all of their players flight upgrades.

USA Today reported Tuesday that the league is setting the groundwork for all 12 of its teams to travel on charter flights as soon as this season. According to the report, this change was spurred by the increased interest in the league, the growth in the business and the next media deal, which is expected to bring increased revenue.

Ahead of last season, the WNBA announced that teams would travel by charter during back-to-back sets and the playoffs. But now that plan appears to be expanded to all flights for road games.

The travel accommodations have been a point of contention for players. Occasionally, teams have had to scramble for alternatives if commercial flights were delayed or canceled.

The league spent $4 million on charter flights in 2023. WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said the new charter plan will cost the league around $25 million a year for this season and next season.

The WNBA has enjoyed increased interest ahead of the start of the regular season thanks to a few rookies. The Indiana Fever selected Caitlin Clark with the No. 1 pick in last month’s draft after her illustrious career at Iowa. Clark broke the NCAA’s all-time scoring mark thanks to her long-range shooting that captivated crowds.

Clark, along with a number of other stars, including former LSU star Angel Reese and former Stanford standout Cameron Brink, helped women’s basketball set viewership records this year. Nearly 19 million fans watched Clark and the Hawkeyes lose to South Carolina in the NCAA tournament title game in April. Brink was taken with the second pick by the Los Angeles Sparks and the Chicago Sky drafted Reese with the seventh pick in this year’s draft.

–Field Level Media

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