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WNBA to Play Record 40 Regular-Season Games in 2023; Will Charter Flights for Finals

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 10, 2022

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Empire State Realty Trust

The WNBA is set to expand its schedule to 40 games beginning in the 2023 season, commissioner Cathy Engelbert announced Sunday.

Engelbert said the league also plans to use chartered flights for the 2022 WNBA Finals.

The use of chartered flights has been a critical issue among WNBA players, who are typically forced to fly commercial. The league fined the New York Liberty $500,000 for using chartered flights last season, which was a violation of league rules.

Engelbert said using chartered flights for a full season is not financially viable in March.

"It would be more than $20 million a year to fund charter flights for an entire WNBA season," Engelbert told Mechelle Voepel of ESPN. "So this is something that we're not going to jeopardize the financial health of the league and be irresponsible about. If we can get it funded by sponsors and supporters, great, but that's not where we are. We do not have that."

The WNBA is playing 36 games during the 2022 season, which is two more than the typical 34 the league has used throughout its history. Extending the season is a potential chance at generating more revenue through ticket sales, and the league has been adding more sponsorships.

Television viewership has also seen a significant spike in recent seasons, which could lead to the league getting more money on its next television contract if the trend increases.

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