The WNBA and the players union reached an agreement on a new eight-year collective bargaining agreement on March 6, though the deal still needs to be approved by the Board of Governors. The previous agreement expired on Sept. 30.
"It's really exciting," WNBA President Laurel Richie told The Associated Press by phone. "Both sides started in the process wanting to come out with an agreement in the end. Everyone gave a little bit and everyone gained a little bit. We feel like we have a solid foundation for the future."
There were several changes in the new CBA with the biggest being the increase of team’s roster size. Teams will now be able to carry a maximum of 12 players throughout the agreement. In 2009, the WNBA trimmed roster sizes from 11-to-nine in order to save money and maintain labor peace. Several teams dressed just eight players for games last season due to injuries.
Another change is that teams can now offer players a "time off bonus". Teams have up to $50,000 to divide up among players who play less than three months overseas.
Players will also receive more of the cut from the revenue sharing system and the number of years that players are allowed to be “cored” was shortened from five-years to four – this will allow star players to become unrestricted free agents sooner.
The new CBA gives both parties to opt out of the agreement after six years.
If the agreement is approved by the Board of Governors on Friday as expected, free agency will begin on March 10.