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  • Writer's pictureKate Stiger

Hot Topics Heading Into the 2024 WNBA Season

The 28th season of the WNBA tipped off on May 14 and is set to be one of the most highly anticipated seasons yet. Whether you’re a seasoned fan or tuning in for the first time, here’s what’s trending ahead of this season. 


Chartered Flights

Chartered flights have been a huge topic of discussion around the WNBA for years. Players and coaches have voiced their concerns with commercial flights during the season and how that impacts their performance on the court, in addition to concerns about player safety and security. 


After years of stating that chartered flights were not financially possible, the WNBA announced on Thursday, May 9 that they will be partnering with Delta Airlines to provide chartered flights to all teams. The exact timeline for chartered flights to get started is still unknown, as WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert stated that the full program will start “as soon as practical for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.”


When Diana Taurasi, a 20-year veteran of the league, was asked about the announcement in a press conference she shared that “as athletes, you always want the best opportunity to get to a city and be able to perform at a high level.” She also expressed that she is happy to experience something that veteran and former players have worked towards for a long time. 


Rookie Impact On and Off the Court

The 2024 rookie class is going to be one of the most exciting groups in the WNBA with both on-the-court play and off-court visibility. With over 2.4 million people tuning in to watch these players in the WNBA draft, fans are excited to see their favorite players at the next level.     


From Catlin Clark in Indiana to Cameron Brink and Rickea Jackson in Los Angeles, as well as Kamilla Cardoso and Angel Reese in Chicago, teams will be looking to grow with their newly acquired stars. Although every rookie’s first season is different and can have its ups and downs, these players have enough excitement around them already that will make people want to tune in and watch them play. 


When asked about Aaliyah Edwards, Washington Mystics Head Coach Eric Thibault said “She's soaking it all up, she's doing everything we’re asking her to do. She’s been exactly what we hoped when we drafted her.” Other coaches have shared similar sentiments about their rookies and have expressed that they are eager for them to continue their development at pros.  


Only time will tell how these rookies do in the league, but fans and teams are excited to see what these players will bring to the WNBA.


WNBA Growth and Expansion

This will be the final season with 12 teams in the WNBA as the league will begin growing next year. The Bay Area will be the next expansion team in the league in 2025, and it was recently announced that Toronto has also been awarded a team that will begin play in 2026. There is also still potential for another team to join in 2026.


Expansion teams are a testament to the league's growing popularity and the continued support of women’s basketball by fans and investors. It is also huge for players, as it will allow more players to make rosters and compete at the highest level. Currently, there is a maximum of 144 roster spots across the WNBA.


The WNBA has lots of momentum to ride this season that, if used well, should set these teams up for success in the future.

“You feel like there’s this momentum, we’ve had them in the past and I think we’ve let it slip through the cracks, but it just seems a little bit different this year” - Taurasi, when asked about league growth

All 12 teams are set to begin their seasons on May 14 and 15.

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