Though the WNBA is reportedly slated to lose roughly around $50 million in the 2024 season, projections indicate that the league will rebound, thanks in part to Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark 

Chicago Sky forward Angel Reese (5) is guarded by Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) on June 1, 2024, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana

The WNBA, despite the addition of high-profile rookies this season, is still set to lose an estimated $50 million this season, according to The Washington Post. But signs are strong that behind a rookie class led by Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese, fortunes could change soon.

In the report published on Tuesday, league insiders indicated the trend of the WNBA losing money every year would continue in the short-term, even though the league has seen an immense amount of growth of late In 2018, NBA commissioner Adam Silver explained how the WNBA had lost more than $10 million per year since its founding in 1996 – league play officially began in 1997.

“The truth is, this league would be hard-pressed to exist without the NBA,” an anonymous team executive said to The Washington Post. As it stands, the NBA owns roughly 60 percent of the WNBA, with the league’s commissioner Cathy Engelbert essentially working for Silver as a result.

If the WNBA wants to get out of the yearly deficit it finds itself in, it will have to increase its revenue stream somehow. But once a new broadcast rights deal is settled after 2024, things could tick upward.

According to The Washington Post, several media executives think the WNBA could triple its annual rights revenue to somewhere between $180 million and $200 million or more from an estimated $60 million.

That’s in part thanks to the influx of talent that has entered and will be entering the league in the coming years. The financial impact of Reese and Clark in terms of attendance and TV viewership numbers cannot be understated.

Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese at the WNBA Draft held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 15, 2024 in New York, New York
Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark are helping shape what the WNBA will look like in the future 

Photo by Cora Veltman/Sportico via Getty Images)
Perhaps one of the biggest examples of this was when Clark and the Indiana Fever traveled to Los Angeles to take on Cameron Brink and the Sparks at Arena. Despite the Fever playing at home, Clark received a very loud ovation when her name was called in the starting lineup and when it was all said and done, it was reported that Clark’s visit to Los Angeles drew over 19,000 fans to the game.

Clark’s visit outdrew LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, with the NBA legend having drawn 18,997. What’s more, Indiana is eclipsing the rest of the league in home attendance, with the Fever averaging about 16,500 per home game this season, despite their middling record, per Across the Timeline.