The Chicago Sky will look to get their season going this summer amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but it doesn’t look like the squad will be taking the floor at Wintrust Arena any time soon.
According to a press release, the WNBA is working out the final details of a partnership with the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Under the terms of that partnership, all WNBA regular season and postseason games will be played in Florida this summer.
According to a press release by the league, the WNBA will look to have each of its teams play 22 regular season games, followed by the league’s usual playoff format.
A start date has not been announced by the league, but training camp is expected to start in July at the IMG Academy.
“We are finalizing a season start plan to build on the tremendous momentum generated by the league during the offseason, and have used the guiding principles of health and safety of players and essential staff to establish necessary and extensive protocols,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Englebert said in a statement.
The league says that all players will receive their full pay and benefits for the 2020 season.
Fans will not be allowed in the stands during games, but ESPN, CBS Sports Network and NBA TV will all air games, according to the league.
Even though the league will be playing a modified schedule and will be confining its games to one location, officials say that players and organizations are still committed to advocating for social change through a variety of programs.
League officials recently announced that the WNBA would make donations from sales of “Bigger Than Ball” merchandise to the Equal Justice Initiative, and other programs are expected to be announced in coming weeks in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among others.
“The WNBA opposes racism in all its forms, and George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are the latest names in a list of countless others who have been subject to police brutality that stems from the systemic oppression of Black Lives in America, and it is our collective responsibility to use our platforms to enact change,” Engelbert said.