Skip to main content

'Groundbreaking' agreement will improve pay and quality of life for WNBA players

Top players could earn more than $500,000 beginning this coming season.
Napheesa Collier

Napheesa Collier won the 2019 Rookie of the Year Award for the Lynx. 

In what the WNBA is calling a "groundbreaking" announcement, the professional women's basketball league and its players' union have agreed to terms of a new eight-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. 

The new agreement, pending formal approval, will provide increased pay for players, better travel accommodations, paid maternity leave and numerous additional benefits that will improve quality of life and work. 

The average cash compensation for players will be $130,000, with top players able to earn more than $500,000 annually, more than triple the maximum earnings possible last season. 

“What we have here is a multidimensional pay structure as well as benefit structure,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert told the New York Times. “We’ve really gone all out here. We’re making a big bet on this league, a big bet on women, and that in professional sports, that the WNBA can lead the way.”

Finer points of the CBA: 

  • Maximum player salary increases from $117,500 to $215,000. 
  • Marketing deals up to $250,000 and bonus incentives could push earnings to over $500,000. 
  • Maternity leave paid with full salary. 
  • Dedicated space in arenas for nursing mothers. 
  • $5,000 child care stipend. 
  • Reimbursement up to $60,000 for adoption, surrogacy, egg freezing and fertility treatment. 
  • All players receive premium economy class seats on flights for regular-season travel. 
  • Each players gets an individual hotel room on road trips. 
  • Offseason job opportunities to help players prepare for life after basketball. 
  • Enhanced mental health benefits and resources. 

Perhaps most importantly, the agreement would allow for a 50-50 revenue share between the league and players starting in 2021 if the league reaches revenue growth targets from broadcast agreements, marketing partnerships and licensing deals. 

According to the New York Times, NBA players receive about a 50-50 revenue split with the NBA, while the WNBA only shares approximately 20-30 percent of revenue with players.

The improved travel accommodations come following years of debacles that have left teams sleeping in terminals and enduring travel nightmares. Last season, the Indiana Fever played in Seattle on a Sunday and had to travel through a connecting flight to Atlanta to get back to Indiana to face the Minnesota Lynx that Tuesday. 

But a flight crew was late for one flight, causing a big delay that led to them missing their connecting flight out of Atlanta. They were forced to take a bus – an 8-hour ride – to Indianapolis. The bus ride featured two delays, one for a mechanical issue and another for a bus driver switch after the original driver reached an hours limit.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-11-23 at 5.01.34 PM

Suspected Bloomington restaurant killer arrested in Oklahoma

The 47-year-old Texas man was arrested around 12:30 a.m. Thursday.

Screen Shot 2022-11-24 at 9.16.39 AM

Minnetonka woman, 23, ID'd as victim killed in Minneapolis crash

The fatal crash happened near the Minneapolis Convention Center on Nov. 21.


More than 100 geese, ducks found dead on partially frozen MN lake

The discovery was made in Waseca at the weekend.


After losing sponsor, advocates fear Minneapolis' Nice Ride could shut down

They are calling on the city to provide financial support till a new sponsor is found.

Screen Shot 2022-11-23 at 3.32.46 PM

Colleen Lindstrom announces departure from MyTalk radio show

Lindstrom's last broadcast on the long-running show will be Dec. 9.


Diocese of Superior identifies 23 clergy members with 'substantiated' abuse

The announcement from the diocese came after a multiple reviews with external agencies.


Flu surge worsens in schools ahead of Thanksgiving holiday

Earlier this week, Minnesota hospital leaders said the number of sick children is creating a capacity crisis for the health system.


Bloomington police investigating shooting; public asked to avoid area

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


Napheesa Collier

Napheesa Collier named WNBA Rookie of the Year

The 22-year-old out of UConn proved to be a great draft pick.

Screen Shot 2019-06-25 at 1.54.32 PM

Lynx face Indiana team exhausted after WNBA travel debacle

Wow. That's one heckuva a trip for a professional team.

Napheesa Collier

Lynx announce final roster moves ahead of 2020 WNBA season

The roster is built around 2019 Rookie of the Year Napheesa Collier.

Napheesa Collier

Lynx on the verge of clinching playoff spot; Collier in the MVP race?

Collier has been outstanding since Sylvia Fowles went down with a calf injury.

Napheesa Collier

Lynx are WNBA's hottest team entering the Olympic break

Minnesota doesn't play again until Aug. 15.

Sylvia Fowles

Lynx All-Star Sylvia Fowles breaks WNBA rebounding record

She broke ex-Lynx star Rebekkah Brunson's record.

Sylvia Fowles

Lynx definitely in the mix for 1 of 2 byes into WNBA semifinals

The biggest game of the year is Wednesday at Las Vegas.