Returning Brittney Griner, WNBA FA Could Change Charter Flight – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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 prompted potential journey problems to the league on account of security considerations for her.

If Griner, who’s a free agent however has stated she’s going to return to Phoenix, wants particular lodging for journey — like constitution flights — the league should provide you with a plan for the 6-foot-9 star. Griner’s security when touring will probably be a prime precedence for her workforce and the league.

“We’re very conscious of BG’s distinctive scenario,” WNBA Commissioner Kathy Engelbert advised the Related Press. “We have been planning and serious about it with safety specialists, BG, on our aspect. We’ll discover the proper time to touch upon him when he indicators with a workforce.”

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

Whereas Griner’s scenario is exclusive, different gamers have raised the problem 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 accepted by each the federation and the league.

“Nobody desires to make this work greater than me,” Engelbert stated. That is why we’re working onerous to remodel the financial enterprise mannequin. We have made optimistic modifications 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 value to constitution flights?

Engelbert says it could value the league about $25 million every season for every of its 12 groups to constitution flights to each recreation. That quantity elevated about $5 million from the commissioner’s earlier estimate as a result of WNBA’s new 40-game schedule this season, gas prices and different components.

The estimated value for every constitution flight franchise could be roughly $2 million. Air journey bills per workforce are at present about $150,000, in line with two individuals aware of the prices. The individuals spoke to the Related Press on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to talk publicly concerning the case.

Engelbert stated, “We did that final 12 months for the finals and we now have expertise about the price of the routes we have to fly. We’re watching and updating our evaluation. We’ll attempt to get an financial mannequin to fund it. That is as quick as we are able to.”

What occurs if a workforce 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 through the second half of that season.

Has the WNBA thought-about lowering the variety of journeys?

Breanna Stewart, who introduced on social media that she will probably be enjoying for New York Metropolis on Wednesday, has launched a social media marketing campaign to try to assist get constitution flights to the league. She tweeted: “I want to be a part of a deal that helps help constitution journey for all the WNBA. I’ll contribute my NIL hours and engagements + my manufacturing hours to ensure all of us journey in a approach that prioritizes participant well being + security, in the end leading to a greater product. ?

Many present and former WNBA and NBA gamers have lent their help — although any change to journey restrictions must be voted on by the federation and league.

“We will want a ceaselessly dedication,” Engelbert stated. “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 subsequent decade.”

Stewart stated Wednesday that she is aware of it “is not going from zero to 100. Clearly we might like a constitution firm to return in and get sponsors all 12 months lengthy. If we might choose and select flights whether or not it is an East to West Coast flight or if you recognize the worst in a row … Proper now it is only a no. It may be a ‘perhaps’ or a ‘sure’ at instances. It is probably not onerous to work with.”

Do ladies’s school groups fly constitution flights?

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

Title IX requires that universities have equal alternatives for his or her athletic packages for women and men. The NCAA flies each males’s and girls’s groups on constitution flights to a school basketball match if they’re greater than 400 miles from the situation of their recreation.

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

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