How does the WNBA pull in a profit?
April 5, 2006 3:11 PM   Subscribe

How does the WNBA make money and stay in business?

I mean no sexist intent from the question, but if you've ever been to a game or taken a glance at television ratings, the organization has very small audience, yet it continues remane afloat (though I believe there was talk several years ago about ending it). How can they pay players, coaches, trainers, ticket takers, etc. and still manage to pull in enough profit? Or am I grossly underestimating advertising contracts?
posted by sicem07 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total)
The WNBA does not turn a profit. It loses money, and many of its teams have gone bankrupt, but the NBA supplements it with profits from the men's side to keep the league afloat. Opinions differ about whether this is a sound long-term plan (i.e., whether the WNBA can ever get weaned off of that and become profitable).

Sort of tangential to your question: keep in mind that the salaries of people involved are an order of magnitude smaller than the men in the NBA. In the WNBA, the team salary cap is somewhere around $700,000. In the NBA, it's about $50 million.
posted by TunnelArmr at 3:20 PM on April 5, 2006

Small salaries is definitely a factor. When I was playing ball in high school I went to several camps that had WNBA players working there. Nearly all the players there worked other jobs during the off-season as the salary they made from playing basketball was not enough to support themselves with.
posted by honeyx at 4:19 PM on April 5, 2006

It took the second labor negotation for the players to get year-round health insurance. MLS players didn't get direct deposit of paychecks until 2003. Things suck in the "minor" major leagues.
posted by sachinag at 5:10 PM on April 5, 2006

The NBA keeps them afloat. Simple as that. The NBA takes care of most (all?) the arenas, marketing, publicity, etc.
posted by ruwan at 11:05 PM on April 5, 2006

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