In an era dominated by social media, women’s basketball is experiencing a moment like never before. Brittney Griner is back. He The WNBA has countless stories. And thanks to Angel Reese, Caitlin Clark and Jill Biden, collegiate play is wrecking television ratings. But, for the game to reach another level, one thing must happen: the expansion of the WNBA, which will lead to more roster spots in the best women’s professional basketball league in the world.
Salute to Maya Moore | SEO program
Too many players, few roster spots
The WNBA has a numbers problem. Too many players and few jobs. According Sports only for women, only 15 of the 36 players selected in the 2023 WNBA Draft were on opening day rosters to start the season. With only 12 teams in the league, there are only 144 roster spots in the WNBA. This year alone, the No. 11, 13, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 33, 34 and 36 teams were all home when the season began.
Unfortunately, this is not a new problem. In 2021, only eight players from that draft appeared on the opening day rosters. In 2022, the number was 15, the same as this year. And while you may say the numbers are improving, it still means that being a first-round pick in the WNBA doesn’t guarantee you a job.
“The first thing I did when I came in, I said, ‘Okay, we have 12 teams in a country of over 300 million people. That’s not enough,” said WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert back in February. “That’s why we talk about expansion, and you have to be in more cities to grow the fandom more. That brings me to be here today.”
Nashville, Philadelphia among the expansion options of the city
According the athletic, Nashville, Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco and Toronto are the cities that could be the best options for expansion. Just a few weeks ago, the Minnesota Lynx and the Chicago Sky played an exhibition game in Toronto for the league’s first game in Canada before the start of the 27 season.
“The energy was incredible. When we walked out, the seats were filled to the brim and they were already cheering. I was amazed,” said Sky head coach James Wade.. “You have something special here in Toronto. I saw so many Maple Leafs jerseys, baseball jerseys, and I thought, ‘The WNBA deserves this too.’
When the WNBA started, there were only eight teams. At one point, it grew to 16 franchises. It has now been reduced to 12, with the Atlanta Dream (2008) being the last expansion team. Between collegiate play, the dominance of Team USA, and the growing buzz around the WNBA, women’s basketball is experiencing a legitimate and long-awaited spike in popularity. If this isn’t the best time to grow the game, then I don’t know what is. Also, in a post-Brittney Griner world, we need to give our women the best opportunities to play at home.
Leave a Reply