On Thursday, the NBA board of governors approved the league's plan to resume play on July 31 at Disney World in Orlando. The vote passed by a margin of 29-1, with the Portland Trail Blazers being the only team to vote no. Next, the players will vote on the proposal on Friday.
But while the wheels on the NBA side have been in motion for a while, details surrounding the WNBA's return had been quite murky. Now, they're starting to come into focus. The league is proposing a 22-game season, which would start on July 24 at IMG Academy in Florida, according to a report from Mechelle Voepel of ESPN.
Details of the playoffs, which would end in October, have not been specified, according to sources. The players have not agreed to the proposal, which has been described as tentative, as some teams are still being informed of the known details, sources said.
Reached for comment, the league said it could not confirm the proposal.
One source said it's still too early to say this plan is "set in stone" but confirmed the parameters of what's being proposed. The source also anticipated that the players might have some counterproposals.
Based on this report, it's clear the WNBA is nowhere close to making a final decision. In order to begin on July 24, however, they need to start figuring things out soon, as that is less than two months away. While teams-- opening day should have been May 15 -- they will need some sort of in-person training camp prior to the season.
A number of sites had been proposed, including Las Vegas or even joining the NBA at Disney World. Choosing IMG Academy makes sense because it has the facilities the league needs, means less people inside the bubble at Disney and is only a few hours away by car. That makes things a bit easier logistically for the league office than having two bubbles on opposite coasts.
Shortening the schedule to 22 games is not ideal, as that's a rather small sample size for a regular season, but it would allow the league to finish up by October like normal. That's important because many players also play overseas in Europe, Asia and Australia. While it's unclear what will happen with those leagues in the fall and winter, many players make most of their money outside of the WNBA, and can't afford to miss those opportunities.
Further details for the league's 2020 season should be out soon, especially with the league wishing to start by late July.