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WNBA Will Part in Constitution Flights Program Beginning in 2024 Common Season

Julia Stumbaugh May 9, 2024 Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images The WNBA will begin chartering flights across the league during the 2024 season, the league announced Thursday. Primarily operated by Delta Air Lines, the program will be “phased in” beginning May 14 with the start of the regular season. “We are thrilled to announce the

WNBA Will Part in Constitution Flights Program Beginning in 2024 Common Season

Julia StumbaughCould 9, 2024

A Delta plane on the tarmac at Terminal C of LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in the Queens borough of New York, US, on Sunday, April 7, 2024. Delta Air Lines Inc. is expected to release earnings figures on April 10. Photographer: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Angus Mordant/Bloomberg through Getty Pictures

The WNBA will start chartering flights throughout the league through the 2024 season, the league announced Thursday.

Primarily operated by Delta Air Strains, this system will likely be “phased in” starting Could 14 with the beginning of the common season.

“We’re thrilled to announce the launch of a full constitution program as quickly as sensible for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, a testomony to the continued development of the WNBA,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert mentioned in a press release.

“Whereas we nonetheless have loads of work to do to proceed to execute our strategic plan, we really feel assured that the time is now to institute a full constitution program to show our dedication to main with a player-first agenda.”

The WNBA assured premium economy status for regular-season air journey in 2020, however gamers mentioned they nonetheless confronted issues together with long travel times on business flights.

The league beforehand modified its coverage to permit for constitution flights for postseason and back-to-back video games in the beginning of the 2023 season.

Leaving groups to take business flights through the common season nonetheless led to issues together with Phoenix Mercury middle Brittney Griner reporting harassment at an airport in 2023. The incident led the WNBA Gamers’ Affiliation to call for modifications within the league’s flight insurance policies.

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The announcement comes two days after Engelbert told reporters the WNBA deliberate to rearrange for constitution journey for all 12 groups “as quickly as we logistically can get planes in locations.”

Engelbert has beforehand acknowledged {that a} full-league constitution flight program for the common season and playoffs would price about $25 million per yr, per ESPN’s Michael Voepel.

In Thursday’s announcement, Engelbert mentioned the league was working to “construct a sustainable financial mannequin to assist constitution flights for the long run.”

That mannequin is more likely to contain a rise in media income beginning within the 2026 season.

The WNBA’s present media rights offers, that are price roughly $60 million per yr, are set to run out in 2025, per CNBC’s Ian Thomas.

Engelbert said in April on CNBC’s Squawk Field that she hopes to “a minimum of double” that quantity with the league’s subsequent media rights deal.

Of be aware, the WNBA has already granted the Indiana Fever nationwide broadcasts for 36 of the group’s 40 regular-season video games as a way to present elevated publicity for No. 1 draft choice Caitlin Clark.

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