“After two decades, of being in existence the WNBA is struggling more than ever for relevance,” said Richard Sandomir, a sports reporter from the New York Times. The WNBA struggling to gain and hold long lasting public interest in the league. Even though the WNBA has an advantage of being backed by the NBA, that doesn’t mean that they get more air time or broadcasting. In the article, WNBA Struggling For Relevance in the New York Times, it tells us about the struggles the WNBA has trying to stay afloat and gain relevance with everyone.
Building the league was the easy part, but when they built the league they didn’t think of how they were going to be funded or how the league would go over with people wanting to watch and follow the teams. The WNBA every year is sponsored by the NBA, and yearly they bring in about $25 million, which is just a mere sliver of the NBA’s $930 million. Owner of the WNBA Liberty team James Dolan said, “The WNBA hasn’t made money in past years, and there is a slim chance it will make money in the coming years.” With that being said, my understanding is that if the WNBA doesn’t start to generate money the league will collapses and be nonexistent, causing all the player to have to uproot their lives and move overseas if they want to further their careers of basketball.
Mary Jo, director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sports, said that the women's league has always and still to this day takes a back seat to the men's league, even with the number of fans they have. She continued to say that women sports are looked over and are not considered a core “staple” in the world of professional sports. A new league President was hired and is trying to get more television coverage for the WNBA, in order to gain more viewers and attendance to games.
After everything the WNBA has gone through, they will give up on the dream of keeping the league alive. The article states that they don’t want to be the third women’s professional sports league to succumb to failure of staying intact. The owner of the Chicago Sky says, “ It’s not easy to get the word out about our league, we don’t have the support and all the free media. We have to fight hard for what we get. But I am optimistic that we will be able to pull through and remain what we are today.” It is sad that day to day these players, coaches, and owners have to worry about their league and for some their only source of income to be taken away from them because they have to take a back seat to the NBA.
As a High School basketball player, I find myself sometimes thinking it would be cool to be able to play in the WNBA, but then come back to reality that I am far from good enough to be able to make it. But for the people who are good enough to make it that far, it is sad that there is a chance there won’t be a league when it comes time for them to make their own appearance into the “ big leagues”. I feel that something should be done and that people should fight to keep the league alive for the current and the up and coming players.