On Monday morning, the WNBA announced the decision to expand its charter flight program ahead of the 2023 season. The expansion doesn't quite reach complete coverage yet, though a meaningful step has been taken.
Starting this season, the league will charter flight for all postseason games through the WNBA Finals, the Commisioner's Cup Championship Game and select regular-season games when teams have back-to-backs on the schedule.
It's a welcome improvement, especially in light of the regular season expanding from 36 to 40 games this year. That will naturally lead to some condensed scheduling in certain parts of the season, further highlighting the need for better travel accomodations.
You can read the full press release below:
NEW YORK, April. 10, 2023 – The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) will be expanding its charter flights program for players this season, it was announced today by the league.
The charter program will include flights for all postseason games beginning with the start of 2023 WNBA Playoffs through the WNBA Finals, the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup Championship Game, and select regular season games where teams have back-to-back games on the schedule.
“We continue the hard work of transforming the business of the league, and the ability to expand this program is a direct result of that,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “Since joining the league a few years ago, a goal of mine has been to enhance the overall player experience and, in that regard, make incremental improvements where we are able to do so and when we believe the economic model would support it for the long-term. I’m pleased that we are able to broaden the program this year for the players. As the league continues to grow, we will look to do more in the future.”
Previously, the WNBA approved charter flights in specific instances during select games in recent years and in 2022 expanded the program to include the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup Championship Game and all WNBA Finals games.
About the WNBA
The WNBA, which will tip off its 27th season on May 19, is a bold, progressive basketball league that stands for the power of women. Featuring 12 teams, the W is a unique sports property that combines competition and entertainment with a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and social responsibility. Through its world-class athletes, the in-game fan experience, TV and digital broadcasts, digital and social content and community outreach programs, the league celebrates and elevates the game of basketball and the culture around it.
In 2020, the WNBA and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) signed a groundbreaking eight-year CBA that charts a new course for women’s basketball – and women’s sports overall – with a focus on increased player compensation, improvements to the player experience, expanded career development opportunities and resources specifically tailored to the female professional athlete.
Key elements of the agreement are supported through the league’s partnership platform, WNBA Changemakers, with AT&T, the WNBA’s Marquee Partner and inaugural Changemaker, as well as fellow inaugural Changemakers Deloitte and NIKE, Inc, and subsequent additions Google and U.S. Bank. During the 2020 season, the WNBA and WNBPA launched the WNBA Justice Movement forming the Social Justice Council with the mission of being a driving force of necessary change and continuing conversations about race and voting rights, among other important societal issues.