Just 16 days into 2020 and already the WNBA is breaking new ground.
All 12 of the league’s teams announced their 2020 schedules Thursday, each of which includes an interesting new feature — an in-season tournament known as the Commissioner’s Cup. The tournament, which is part of the WNBA’s new collective bargaining agreement revealed Tuesday, will culminate with a Championship Game slated for mid-August.
Here’s how it will work:
10 games from each team’s 2020 schedule — the first home game and first road game each team plays against its five conference rivals — will be designated as Cup games. The top team in the Eastern and Western Conferences will move on to the championship game on Aug. 14 (two days before the regular season resumes following the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo) where they’ll compete for the Cup and “a special prize pool,” per the WNBA.
It’s that simple.
There’s plenty of room for the league to experiment here. WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert says the cash prizes for the 2020 tournament will be “more moderate,” but will “seek sponsors” for the 2021 event, per ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel. Something tells us the NBA, which currently is mulling a similar idea, will be keeping an eye on this one, too.
Thumbnail photo via Chris Poss/Connecticut Sun