The WNBA will tip off Saturday in its bubble at the IMG Academy in Florida. It will look to continue the momentum it has built under Commissioner Cathy Engelbert, who was named to the role in May 2019.
A new collective bargaining agreement signed in the offseason means that the average WNBA player will now be able to earn six figures for the first time, helping lessen the need for the players to play overseas in the offseason.
The shortened season will also lead to a new level of television exposure for the league. Almost 50% of games will be featured on national broadcasts across ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2, and CBS Sports Network, even as other leagues return to action. Highly touted rookie Sabrina Ionescu and the New York Liberty will appear in 15 of those nationally televised games.
That should help build on the growing interest in women’s basketball. The 2019 women’s NCAA Tournament had its highest attendance in 15 years and interest in the WNBA grew significantly from 2016 to 2019, as search traffic grew 50%.