So I’m like, hey, maybe this time …”, Of course, its rollout was met with the usual chorus of sexist comments. “Ultimately it’s a market economy,” Silver said in a recent interview with the Today Show by way of explaining WNBA players’ comparatively modest salaries. It’s not a gender issue, it’s just not.

“It’s a real challenge. “We all want the same thing,” Hedgpeth told SB Nation. More than ever before, overseas play looks like a real threat to that sustainability. “We obviously want to shift the conversation away from the people saying we’re trying to make what NBA players make, when it’s more about revenue and getting our fair share. Would she have liked more time to choose whether to finish school or enter the league? This number is also higher than any other regular season attendance mark, making it the highest attended WNBA game in the league s seven-year history. Catchings and the Fever host Diana Taurasi and the Mercury in the opener (6 p.m. Simultaneously, players started raising more questions publicly about not just pay, but also how they were treated — from the fact that they had to fly commercial to back to back games to the perceived lack of investment in marketing by the league. No portion of may be duplicated, redistributed or manipulated in any form. But that doesn’t mean we have to settle.”, The WNBA is at a turning point, and the stakes could not be higher, record-low attendance and drooping ratings. Attendance dropped 12 percent, but that statistic has been cited frequently without the important caveat that in 2018 the New York Liberty moved from Madison Square Garden to the 5,000-seat Westchester County Center (which, needless to say, is not in midtown Manhattan). “We have sent a shot across the bow,” says Hedgpeth. By accessing any information beyond this page, you agree to abide by the, Inside the W with Michelle Smith: 2020 Season…, Dallas Wings And Head Coach Brian Agler Mutua…, ESPN’s Coverage Of WNBA Finals Game 3 Up 34…, Social Recap: Seattle Storm Become 2020 WNBA …. ET), followed by Breanna Stewart and the Seattle Storm visiting Angel McCoughtry and the Atlanta Dream (8 p.m.

Until a new CBA is finalized, the league is making that investment on the marketing and TV booking side.

“But that’s not true, the league is extremely viable,” she concludes. Official Release But it’s the idea that keeps the players pushing forward for more and better, and that they hope will inspire the NBA to truly double down on the women’s game — like Silver says they are, and like the league did so successfully when it first launched. “It should sell itself. Overall, we just want to feel like we’re being fully invested in.”.

As its 23rd season launches this week, the WNBA has entirely new leadership, a new logo and marketing strategy — and a number of its most visible stars, including Breanna Stewart, Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Skylar Diggins-Smith, and Maya Moore, waylaid by injuries or off the court for personal reasons.

But we just thought it was a very interesting moment for the W in particular, because the level of play was at its best, and there was a new cultural appetite for women’s sports — there’s no secret that it’s a moment where there’s a greater sensitivity to matters involving sex and gender, discrimination, harassment and so on. I think the league has to reevaluate in these negotiations after seeing her and Victoria go down.”. NBA commissioner Adam Silver, for his part, hasn’t shied from emphasizing the league’s lack of revenue — even as he reiterates the NBA’s commitment to the women’s game. “We’re doing everything we can to get this league on really solid footing so that we can grow rapidly into the future. I hope the players especially get the credit they deserve, because they’ve done everything asked and more in terms of their contribution to the sport.”, “Everything is on the table,” says Jackson — including pushing for enough pay that players won’t feel compelled to play abroad. ATTENDANCE: The WNBA registered its highest attendance (1,561,530) since 2011 and the highest average attendance (7,655) over the same time period (a 4.6% increase over last year).

“Can women’s professional sports join the mainstream based on appeal of the quality of play and not just the novelty of women playing professional sports?”. The league is at what COO Christin Hedgpeth has repeatedly termed an “inflection point,” one way of saying that from the outside looking in, there are a fair amount of open questions for teams, players and fans. In 2018, the WNBA had an average game attendance of 6,768 during the regular season.

© 2020 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. “But we’re not going after those people. About a half hour after Jackie Young became the No.
But questions persist: what needs to change about the WNBA so that people once and for all stop talking about what needs to change about the WNBA?

The union’s decision to opt out last year came after Jackson encouraged players to educate themselves about their contracts, telling them to read as much as they could of the 300-page CBA. Silver, for one, is finally optimistic about the league’s potential. Ackerman was the first president of the WNBA, leading the league until 2005. There’s also a new, edgier TV spot airing frequently during the NBA playoffs featuring players like the Mystics’ Natasha Cloud and Dream’s Renee Montgomery who haven’t previously been the faces of national marketing efforts. We’re going after people who embrace progressive values around the role of women.”, “You could write anything, and someone would still make a sandwich joke,” says Williams. Lowest winning percentage, home games, season – .059, Lowest winning percentage, road games, season – .000, Washington 1998, Most consecutive games won – 18, Los Angeles 2001, Most consecutive home games won – 28, Los Angeles 2000–2002, Most consecutive road games won – 12, Los Angeles 2000. “They did follow through on this, and made things look pretty good. They even have a slogan: “Bet On Women,” which was the title of the Player’s Tribune piece in which Ogwumike announced the opt-out.

NEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2016 – In one of the league’s most compelling seasons, the WNBA’s historic 20th scored its highest attendance in five years and included record marks for WNBA digital, social media and retail. Approximately 72 hours prior, her Notre Dame Fighting Irish were one heartbreaking free throw away from forcing overtime for a repeat NCAA title in Tampa, Florida; Young, a junior, had only a day following the loss to decide whether she was going to declare for the draft at all. Some of the challenges of today’s league, though, were foreshadowed even within the WNBA’s massive early returns, including the most vital one. (Last year, NBA revenue rose 25 percent to $7.4 billion.)

”The tickets are very inexpensive, but even at low prices, we’re not selling enough tickets to run a viable business,” Silver told Bleacher Report. In 2018, ratings across the league’s ESPN broadcasts were up, as were subscriptions to WNBA League Pass and merchandise sales. The Sparks had the second-best record in the league at 26-8, the Lynx the best at 27-7 and the Sun the fourth-best at 21-13. His response echoed the disingenuous retorts of so many armchair analysts (and right-wing blogs) who have embraced the idea that WNBA players deserve exactly as much as they make as something of a cause du jour, one that gained steam last summer when made-up quotes from players claiming their superiority over NBA players went viral.
The playoffs began Wednesday with two single-elimination games. “What’s interesting is that the product is at a zenith,” said Val Ackerman, current commissioner of the Big East conference, in a conversation with SB Nation.

• 0 – New York at Minnesota, July 15, 2016, Highest points per game average by a reserve, season, Most field goal attempts, none made, game, Highest three-point field goal percentage, career, Highest three-point field goal percentage, season, Most three-point field goals, none missed, game, Most three-point field goal attempts, none made, game, Most free throw attempts, none made, game, Highest rebounds per game average, career, Highest rebounds per game average, season, Fewest minutes before disqualification, game, Highest points per game average by all reserves, season, Most three-point field goal attempts, game, "Nneka Ogwumike Career Regular Season Averages", WNBA Leaders and Records at,, Women's National Basketball Association statistics, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 8 – Crystal Robinson, New York vs. Cleveland, August 4, 2001, 17 – Lauren Jackson, Seattle vs. Los Angeles, August 6, 2003, 11 – Linda Burgess, Sacramento vs. Utah, August 15, 1998, 8 – Diana Taurasi, Phoenix at Tulsa, May 25, 2010, 6 – Diana Taurasi, Phoenix at Seattle, September 9, 2011, 33 – Diana Taurasi, Phoenix at Seattle, July 14, 2010 (3OT), 15 – Diana Taurasi, Phoenix vs. Washington, July 2, 2006, 15 – Diana Taurasi, Phoenix vs. Sacramento, August 13, 2006, 15 – Diana Taurasi, Phoenix at Sacramento, August 17, 2007, 11 – Shavonte Zellous, Detroit at Washington, August 11, 2009, 23 – Tina Charles, Connecticut vs. Los Angeles, June 28, 2011, 9.09 – Courtney Vandersloot, Chicago 2019, 8.60 – Courtney Vandersloot, Chicago 2018, 16 – Ticha Penicheiro, Sacramento vs. Los Angeles, August 3, 2002, 15 – Ticha Penicheiro, Sacramento at Cleveland, July 15, 2003, 15 – Ticha Penicheiro, Los Angeles vs. Chicago, August 4, 2010, 15 – Courtney Vandersloot, Chicago vs. Dallas, July 20, 2018, 15 – Courtney Vandersloot, Chicago vs Connecticut, August 10, 2018, 15 – Courtney Vandersloot, Chicago vs Las Vegas, August 19, 2020, 11 – Ticha Penicheiro, Sacramento at Utah, June 26, 2000, 11 – Ticha Penicheiro, Sacramento vs. Los Angeles, August 3, 2002, 7 – Ticha Penicheiro, Sacramento at Atlanta, August 25, 2009, 3.04 – Teresa Weatherspoon, New York 1997, 7 – Rushia Brown, Cleveland vs. Utah, July 24, 1999, 124 – Minnesota vs. Phoenix, July 24, 2010 (2OT), 69 – Phoenix vs. Minnesota, July 29, 2010 (1st), 36 – Washington vs. Miami, August 8, 2001, 47 – Phoenix vs. Minnesota, July 29, 2010, 98 – Phoenix vs. Seattle, July 14, 2010 (3OT). Atlanta Dream center Elizabeth Williams says she’ll call after practice. “It’s good, honestly, just getting people talking,” says Ogwumike. ATTENDANCE: The WNBA registered its highest total attendance (1,574,078) and highest average attendance (7,716) since 2011. 1. Three years ago, the league had little to show for its 20th anniversary besides record-low attendance and drooping ratings.

We have signaled that there’s something different going on with the WNBA, and we want people to take notice.

“There’s no one in the NBA league office or no WNBA owner right now who’s saying they’re giving up,” Silver said in the Bleacher Report piece, an unnerving response to a question that no one was asking. Check out's WNBA Best Games grid and find out now! The Sparks had their highest average attendance (11,350) since 2002, while the Lynx had their highest average attendance (10,407) since their inaugural season in 1999. A relentless TV schedule — which included a game every week on Lifetime, ESPN and NBC — paid off with good ratings, outdrawing the NHL on ESPN among others. Don’t get me wrong — we’re extremely grateful. Players in the early years of the league also dealt with pitiful pay, with the exception of Olympic stars like Lisa Leslie and Rebecca Lobo, who had commanded $250,000 salaries mostly because of the threat that they might join the higher-paying ABL.

They’ve had all the pieces — the elite athletes, the fans, the competition — but now maybe in the current climate, with the spotlight on them and their support of women, they’ll lean in and work with us to find a winning model. Its laundry list of current challenges, though, is only a popular talking point because the WNBA is in the midst of a modest upswing, rebounding from some of its least-watched seasons ever. This marked the first time in the league’s 22-year history that attendance dipped below 7,400 fans per game.