WNBA Postpones Start Of Season From Scheduled May 15 Tip
The WNBA has postponed the start of its training camps and the start of its regular season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The regular season was to start on May 15 with training camps to open on April 26. No new dates have yet been determined. The league will keep its draft on April 17, though it will be held "virtually" to adhere to social distancing guidelines (John Lombardo, THE DAILY). The AP's Doug Feinberg notes two WNBA cities -- N.Y. and Seattle -- are "major hot spots for the virus." Angels of the Winds Arena in Everett, Wash., one of the Storm's homes this year, "is being used as a coronavirus isolation site." Additionally, the casinos that house both the Las Vegas Aces and the Connecticut Sun are closed (AP, 4/3). ESPN.com's Mechelle Voepel notes the WNBA "had a monthlong break -- July 11 to Aug. 15 -- planned this year" because of the Tokyo Games. With the Olympics being postponed a year, the league "has a little more leeway in terms of potential rescheduling" (ESPN.com, 4/3).
UNFORTUNATE TIMING: THE ATHLETIC's Hannah Withiam notes the "uncertainty surrounding the pandemic raises concerns for a league whose business relies on momentum from season to season in the form of ticket sales, brand partnerships and television deals." That is "particularly true this year as the WNBA enters its first season" under a new CBA (THEATHLETIC.com, 4/3).