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WNBA All-Star Game perks include $2,500 bonus and first-class flight

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Bonuses for the All-Star Game are just over $2,500 this year, as well as an upgrade to a first-class flight.

According to Sportico, that payout is less than 3.5 percent of the $74,305 that Aliyah Boston will make as a rookie with Indiana. Meanwhile, the NBA is paying out $100,000 for its All-Star Game, which is roughly 10 percent of a first-year rookie salary of the top pick.

The Most Valuable Player – this year, Seattle’s Jewell Loyd, who set a scoring record – will get $5,150. Winners of the skills competition and three-point contest will get $2,575 apiece, while participants get an additional $1,030.

“To pay the players $2,500 really undervalues the asset,” Terri Jackson, who has served as the WNBPA’s executive director since 2016, told Sportico. “We resist, at times, the comparisons between what our members make and what individuals in other professional sports—the guys in the NBA—are making because we don’t want to compare our business to theirs, but at some point, it does become relevant. We negotiated hard for increases in all of the bonus amounts [in the CBA] but in our attempt to right-size the business model and do that course correction, we, the players association and the league, just didn’t finish the job.”

Jackson noted that she would like to see “significant increases” to the bonuses for the ASG. But the league, in citing the CBA, also pointed to the $500,000 paid out to the champions of the Commissioner’s Cup, with the same amount being available in the postseason.

Others, like sports agent Erin Kane, who represents players like Arike Ogunbowale and Napheesa Collier – both starters this year – pointed to the increased visibility of the players and potential earning opportunities that comes with that.

The league is set to make around $180 to $200 million this year, according to Sportico, and the All-Star Game provided a bit of insight into its growth. Every element appeared to be branded, and the event was hosted at Mandalay Bay.

“The whole wraparound of resources [being invested by and into the league]—I want to see that the players benefit,” Jackson said. “They’re doing the work. I want the league to rethink what bonuses need to be and what it looks like when a player is named an All-Star or WNBA champs.

“I think the ceiling is just so much higher than what [the WNBA is] doing.”