WNBA players will report to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., in early July with the expectation of starting the season before the end of the month.
The league announced the parameters of their plan for the 2020 regular season on Monday, following their confirmation that players would receive 100 percent of their salaries for a 22-game schedule this season.
“We are finalizing a season start plan to build on the tremendous momentum generated in the league during the offseason and have used the guiding principles of health and safety of players and essential staff to establish necessary and extensive protocols,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert in the release. “We will continue to consult with medical experts and public health officials as well as players, team owners and other stakeholders as we move forward with our execution plan.
“And, despite the disruption caused by the global pandemic to our 2020 season, the WNBA and its Board of Governors believe strongly in supporting and valuing the elite women athletes who play in the WNBA and therefore, players will receive their full pay and benefits during the 2020 season.”
The 2020 season will be played without fans in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but games will be carried by broadcast partners ESPN, CBS Sports Network and NBA TV.
The league said a full schedule and broadcast dates would be released at a later date.
The regular season was initially scheduled to start May 15 before being moved back due to the pandemic.
WNBA players will launch a new platform for social justice as part of their negotiations with the league.
“In our discussions with the league, we emphasized and they agreed that a strong commitment to a 2020 season will give the WNBA the chance to show the world that it’s taking the steps needed to secure our livelihood and well-being, while also providing the opportunity to amplify our collective voice,” said WNBPA President Nneka Ogwumike in the release. “We have always been at the forefront of initiatives with strong support of #BlackLivesMatter, #SayHerName, the LGBTQ+ community, gun control, voting rights, #MeToo, mental health and the list goes on. This is not only necessary from a humanitarian perspective, but it may be one of the biggest opportunities that this league has and will ever have.”
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)