After months of speculation following its season's postponement, the Women's National Basketball Association has announced that an abbreviated season will start in late July.
The WNBA have announced that they are in the final stages of preparing a shortened 22-game regular season with a traditional playoff format. The season, whose May 15 opening was postponed in April, is slated to start in late July. The schedule and matchups are pending.
The league's season will be played in its entirety at IMG Academy, a private boarding school and sports training center, located in Bradenton, Florida. This is approximately 100 km from Orlando, Florida where the NBA has proposed to finish their season.
When speaking about the upcoming season and the precautions taken due to COVID-19, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert stated:
“We are finalizing a season start plan to build on the tremendous momentum generated in the league during the offseason and have used the guiding principles of health and safety of players and essential staff to establish necessary and extensive protocols.
"We will continue to consult with medical experts and public health officials as well as players, team owners and other stakeholders as we move forward with our execution plan."
While it was earlier reported that players were originally offered 60% of their salary for the shortened season, they are now reportedly being given 100% of their salaries as confirmed by Commissioner Engelbert:
"Despite the disruption caused by the global pandemic to our 2020 season, the WNBA and its Board of Governors believe strongly in supporting and valuing the elite women athletes who play in the WNBA and therefore, players will receive their full pay and benefits during the 2020 season.”
Players started getting paid on Monday, June 1, 2020. Smaller rosters, with a maximum of 12 players, were finalized on May 26, 2020 in order to meet salary caps. At present, there are six Opals listed on them.
Rebecca Allen is contracted with the New York Liberty. Leilani Mitchell is with the Washington Mystics. Liz Cambage is listed with the Las Vegas Aces. Alanna Smith is with the Phoenix Mercury. Sami Whitecomb and Eziyoda Magbegor are on Seattle Storm's roster.
While the season is slated to be played behind closed doors, it will be broadcast on ESPN, CBS Sports Network and NBA TV.