Greiner’s return, free agency raises concerns about charter flight

Brittney Griner’s return to the WNBA this summer time after she was traded in a dramatic December prisoner swap deal to Russia with free company, has brought on potential journey problems to the league resulting from security issues for her.

If Griner, who’s a free agent however has mentioned she is going to return to Phoenix, wants particular lodging for journey — like constitution flights — the league must give you a plan for the 6-foot-9 star. Griner’s security when touring will probably be a high precedence for the group and the league.

“We’re very conscious of BG’s distinctive state of affairs,” WNBA Commissioner Kathy Engelbert informed the Related Press. “We have been planning and fascinated by it with the safety consultants. BG’s aspect, our aspect. We’ll discover the appropriate time to touch upon him when he indicators with a group.”

That would come Wednesday, when the free brokers can formally signal.

Whereas Griner’s state of affairs is exclusive, different gamers have raised the difficulty of constitution flights, which groups have deemed too costly.

The present collective bargaining settlement requires that each one groups fly commercially and doesn’t enable groups to constitution flights. Any change to this should be authorised by each the federation and the league.

“Nobody desires to make this work greater than me,” Engelbert mentioned. That is why we’re working exhausting to rework the financial enterprise mannequin. We have made optimistic adjustments over the previous two years, however we’re not going to jeopardize the league’s monetary capability. We’re on the cusp of one thing large right here.”

How a lot would the WNBA price to constitution flights?

Engelbert says it will price the league about $25 million every season for every of its 12 groups to constitution flights to each sport. That quantity elevated about $5 million from the commissioner’s earlier estimate because of the WNBA’s new 40-game schedule this season, gasoline prices and different elements.

The estimated price for every constitution flight franchise can be roughly $2 million. Air journey bills per group are presently about $150,000, in line with two folks conversant in the prices. The folks spoke to the Related Press on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t licensed to talk publicly in regards to the case.

“We did it final yr for the finals and we have now expertise about the price of the routes we have to fly,” mentioned Engelbert. “We’re monitoring and updating our evaluation. We’ll attempt to get an financial mannequin to fund this as rapidly as we will.”

What occurs if a group takes constitution flights?

If groups violate the present CBA they could be fined.

The New York Liberty was fined a WNBA file $500,000 in 2021 for constitution flights to away video games in the course of the second half of that season.

Has the WNBA thought of decreasing the variety of journeys?

Coveted free agent Brenna Stewart, who has narrowed her choices to a couple groups together with New York Metropolis, has launched a social media marketing campaign to attempt to assist get constitution flights to the league. She tweeted, “I want to be a part of a deal that helps assist constitution journey for the whole WNBA. I’ll contribute my NIL hours, engagements + manufacturing hours to verify all of us journey in a method that prioritizes participant well being + security, in the end leading to a greater product.” with me?”

Many present and former WNBA and NBA gamers have lent their assist. Though any change to journey restrictions should be voted on by the federation and the league.

“We’ll want a perpetually dedication,” Engelbert mentioned. “That is $250 to $300 million. Have a look at the gate and media offers and sponsorship {dollars}. We’re nowhere near having the ability to afford $250 million over the following decade.”

Do girls’s faculty groups fly constitution flights?

WNBA gamers are used to constitution flights. That is how they traveled in faculty.

Title IX requires that universities have equal alternatives for his or her athletic packages for women and men. The NCAA flies each the lads’s and ladies’s groups on constitution flights to the event if they’re greater than 400 miles from the placement of their sport.

This laws doesn’t apply to professionals, so intercity NBA groups haven’t any affect over what WNBA groups do.

Leave a Comment