WNBA Brass Bullish On League's Health Heading Into All-Star Game
The WNBA All-Star Game will be played at Target Center on Saturday night, and league President Lisa Borders "will tell you the league is healthier than it has ever been," both on the court and off, with increased viewership, a leaguewide sponsorship by Verizon and a "long-term TV deal with ESPN, among other revenue streams," according to Kent Youngblood of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The WNBA's talent level "continues to rise, with the influx of college players." With 144 roster spots, "most teams have multiple star-quality players." The playoff race this season is "as tight as ever." But that is "not to say there aren’t issues." At least some players "have begun to talk about upping their share of the league’s revenue pie." There are "still teams searching for their way out of the red into profitability." Fans are "still waiting to see where the Liberty will end up." But the league "feels good" as it heads into All-Star weekend. When it "comes to the WNBA, patience is the key." Players "want bigger salaries" and some are "already asking for more." WNBA revenue is a "small fraction of what the NBA pulls in." This season, the "top salary in the WNBA is $115,500." Las Vegas Aces G Kelsey Plum said, “We’re not asking for millions and millions of dollars. We’re asking to have the same percentage of revenue on our [CBA] that the NBA has. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/27).