Voepel reported on Friday that the league's proposal includes a July 24 start date, with all games taking place at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
The WNBA is the latest sports league to announce a plan for games to return after a months-long shutdown to help combat spread of the coronavirus. Well, today, the league announced that they would be playing a 22-game regular-season and would then embark on a normal post-season format. But some National Basketball Association players have expressed concern about the isolated environment and distraction from the Black Lives Matter movement. The original May 15 start date was postponed because of the pandemic, and the normal 36-game schedule will be cut almost in half. Just like with the WNBA, a season doesn't mean that every player will play and we've already seen Minnesota Lynx star Maya Moore forego multiple seasons in committing her life to focus on freeing Jonathan Irons, a man she believes was wrongfully convicted, prior to the current political climate.
"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", said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. As recently announced, this began with the WNBA making donations from sales of its "Bigger Than Ball" women's empowerment merchandise to the Equal Justice Initiative. Atlanta also drafted 5-9 guard Chennedy Carter out of Texas A&M with the fourth overall selection in the 2020 WNBA Draft.
The WNBA and WNBPA have been in close discussion the last week as they have negotiated the terms of play including pay and benefits. "The league and the teams' commitment makes a statement". The regular season will tip-off in late July after each squad gets ample time to train during training camp.
The 2020 season will be played without fans in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but games will be carried by broadcast partners ESPN, CBS Sports Network and NBA TV.