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  • W N B A is on its way back, and here are the plans.

  • As you see, July 24th is set to be the opening date, working its way into October.

  • The format will be a 22 game regular season, followed by playoffs, and it will take place at the I M G Academy in Bradenton, Florida the commissioner of the WNBA's Cathy Engelbert.

  • And she's good enough to spend a few minutes with us here, commissioner.

  • Thank you, and let's just start there.

  • How did you arrive at those plans?

  • After all that we have been through, take us through the process of putting this together?

  • Well, like, you know, we're supposed to tip off our season on May 15th and coming off our draft in mid April, we started an enormous scenario planning exercise to try to determine how many games could we play.

  • Could we get full playoffs in, you know, and of myrie out of with or without fans in arena?

  • Not an arena.

  • And obviously, as you started to see a lot of sports looking at a single site and we remember we hadn't tipped off yet, we decided we had some principles obviously health and safety of our players and staff, and then you really to get a competitive season.

  • And so we think that a 22 game season, very competitive season.

  • Full playoffs, Unfortunately, without fans working, though on fan innovation that were already working on because it was one of the pillars of our strategy and also, you know, really looking at I Am G Academy.

  • A best in class athletic training environment, competitive environment as, ah place for our players to all come together in the first time.

  • Be together.

  • First time in W N b A history be together, particularly as they look toe have their voices heard around social justice.

  • So it's just all coming together.

  • A lot of logistics, But we're excited to tip a season off this summer, so obviously there's a lot there.

  • Let's take it piece by piece.

  • Let's start with health and safety because that's of course, the most important.

  • What can you tell us about the precautions that are being taken to keep the players and the coaches and everyone else involved safe?

  • Yeah, number one priority.

  • Obviously, things change every day as you, you know, consult with physicians and state and local health authorities, and and so it's important to know that you have to actually be pretty agile and changed.

  • But, you know, certainly leveraging off the MBA processes well cause W MBA in the family looking at obviously testing temperature checks, mass, all the standard thing symptom check forms, you know, but also being in an environment on a campus like I am G Academy, where we can have our players together and make sure that we can provide them the safest environment, medically speaking as well as logistically.

  • So we're looking forward to making sure that all of that is in place.

  • Um, and, um, to execute around that, you know, because health and safety clearly is number one.

  • During these times where there is so much conversation about racial inequality, where are protests in the streets all over the country?

  • We've heard some high profile N B A.

  • Players suggest that they're not sure this is a time where they should be going back to play.

  • What conversations have you had with your players along those lines?

  • Yeah, our players.

  • So again, I mentioned that they'll be together for the all together for the first time in W N B A history in a single site.

  • And you know what I've heard from them is, Let's let's really you know, there will be a lot of eyes on us.

  • Let's think about how strong our voices can be.

  • Let's think about what this platform looks like that we have.

  • We have one of the most diverse leagues in professional sports, 80% black women.

  • And all of our players are really, really actually looking for to the platform that they can launch from I M G Academy around social justice and their voice, you know, And maybe, as you know, Mike, we had one of our star players envy former M V P of the league take a year off, and now she's taking her second year off my own more to go work on criminal justice reform.

  • We have a variety of other players who have very strong voices, so I actually think they're looking forward to being together to kind of launch a platform around how we can drive, change and systemic change against the racial inequalities that are out there in the world today, and certainly here in the United States.

  • So that's were really looking forward to a strong platform, and I think our players are a swell and we're gonna work together with the players around that and make sure we support them in every way we can.

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W N B A is on its way back, and here are the plans.

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WNBA’s Cathy Engelbert describes plan for 2020 season | SportsCenter

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/07/02
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