WNBA makes ‘big bet on women’ with new deal

The Women's National Basketball Association and its players' union on Tuesday reached a tentative eight-year labor deal that for the first time will see the average annual compensation for players hit six figures.

Commissioner Cathy Engelbert described the deal as “a big bet on women.”

Players will now earn an average salary of $130,000, and will also be able to collect a full salary while on maternity leave for the very first time in league history.

Top players will be able to earn more than $500,000 in cash compensation, which is more than triple the amount under the previous deal.

The league’s teams will now also guarantee two-bedroom apartments for players with children.

Travel - a long source of frustration among players - will now include individual instead of shared hotel rooms, and while players still have to fly commercial, players will now receive premium economy airline tickets.

WNBA star and 2019 MVP Elena Delle Donne praised the news on Twitter, calling it an "historic day."

The proposed WNBA contract now must be approved by the league’s board of governors and the union’s membership.