WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert informed CNBC on Friday she sees this year’s coronavirus reduced season as vital for the league and female expert athletes all over.
“This could move the numerator for women’s sports,” she informed “Squawk Box,” one day prior to Saturday’s season opening video games. “It’s existential for us to have a season, economically.”
With lots of sports leagues being cut for coronavirus security factors and tv networks starving for live sports, about half of the WNBA’s video games will be telecasted this year, according to The New York Times. That’s a modification from previous years when guys’s sports took top priority.
Engelbert, previous CEO of Deloitte and a standout Lehigh University basketball and lacrosse gamer, stated she hopes the Women’s National Basketball Association can profit from the chance for extra TELEVISION protection.
“Part of this was to get more exposure for these elite women athletes,” she stated. “Less than 5% of all sports covered is women’s sports.”
WNBA action starts Saturday, with 3 video games, tipping off a reduced season of 22 routine video games, with playoffs.
Given the threats related to playing basketball throughout a pandemic, the 12 groups and their assistance employee are quarantining at the IMG Academy sports complex in Bradenton, Florida, where all video games will be had fun with no fans. Putting gamers and staffers in a “bubble” is a method likewise embraced by the guys’s National Basketball Association and Major League Soccer in Orlando, and the National Women’s Soccer League in Utah.
“There’s been a lot of scenario planning, so a lot of my business experience is coming in handy,” Engelbert stated, keeping in mind that because the preliminary quarantine at the start of July no WNBA gamer has actually evaluated favorable for the coronavirus.
“We’ve been fortunate, because we know this virus is complicated,” she stated. “We started with individual quarantining, as players came into Florida. We then went to just team activities four days later.”
“It’s been a herculean effort, and a big sacrifice from the players and the coaches,” she included. “So far, so good, but I don’t want to jinx it.”
Engelbert, who is likewise a board member on the not-for-profit Partnership for New York City advocacy group, stated that lessons discovered in WNBA “bubble” might be broadened to other workplaces, as business browse a go back to work.
“I do think there are lessons here to learn, but they’re not different from the public service announcements of wearing masks, and washing hands,” Engelbert stated.
“I realize not everyone can do the testing we’re doing here,” she continued. “But one thing I’ve learned over the three weeks here is, if you follow the science, it works.”