Report: WNBA considering a 22-game regular season
The WNBA is discussing plans to hold a shortened season starting July 24
Welcome to The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited and photographed by our young, diverse staff, dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives and projections about the game we love.
Subscribe to make sure this vital work, creating a pipeline of young, diverse media professionals to write, edit and photograph the great game, continues and grows. Subscriptions include some exclusive content, but the reason for subscriptions is a simple one: making sure our writers and editors creating 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage get paid to do it.
After much speculation surrounding the WNBA’s plans for its postponed 2020 season, the league is reportedly “leaning toward” a 22-game regular season with a start date of July 24 held at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel and then confirmed by our Howard Megdal.
According to ESPN, no further details of the plan, including housing and testing, have been specified as the proposal is still “tentative,” and the players have yet to agree. With approximately 144 players and countless staff and media members, the league’s biggest issue will certainly be in maintaining the health and safety of everyone. The league’s new collective bargaining agreement originally increased the regular season schedule from 34 to 36 games in 2020, and the reported proposal would see teams play 61.1% of the scheduled 36-game season this year.
The 2020 season, set to begin on May 15, was suspended in early April due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the league and the players’ association have been considering various options to hold a season this summer, with reports of a single-site season appearing most likely.
On Wednesday, Doug Feinberg of the Associated Press reported that IMG Academy and MGM Resorts in Las Vegas were the league’s top contenders for a potential bubble league site. The NBA is also poised to play in Florida — albeit approximately 100 miles away in Orlando — after the Board of Governors approved a return-to-play plan on Thursday which would send 22 teams to Orlando in early July, with games beginning July 31.