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The WNBA and its union reach a landmark deal

Yesterday, the WNBA and its players’ union announced a new eight-year contract that will raise the average annual salary to around $130,000 and give the top players around $213,000, with the possibility of earning far more through bonuses and marketing agreements.

The new contract also addresses maternity leave; contracts will be fully paid on such occasions, with a $5,000 child care stipend added in.

The graph below illustrates how drastic a change in maximum league salary this new deal ushers in:

(Data via Spotrac)

Other important parts of the contract:

  • Players will get their own hotel rooms on the road, and will now fly economy instead of coach 

  • The league’s minimum salary will increase from $42,000 to $57,000

  • Starting in 2021, the players will have a 50-50 split of revenue sharing between the league and its players, which was between 20 and 30 percent last year, according to the New York Times 

WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert, on the new deal, also via the NYT:

“...a lot of these elements are setting up the future for the next generation of players to be in a great place -- for the current stars to leave behind a legacy for the next generation.”


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