2024 WNBA season: How to watch as a new era of women’s basketball dawns

Never before has there been such anticipation ahead of a WNBA season.

With the established talent already in situ and an exciting crop of players arriving from the college scene, it promises to be an intriguing time.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the 2024 campaign.

How to watch

The season begins on Tuesday, May 13, with the Washington Mystics and the New York Liberty raising the curtain at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, DC at 7 p.m. ET.

It’ll be a busy opening day of action, with four games on the slate – including Caitlin Clark’s Indiana Fever debut at 7.30 p.m. ET.

The opening game between the Mystics and the Liberty will be available to watch on ESPN3 and the WNBA’s League Pass platform. The League Pass will show games throughout the season.

ESPN, Amazon Prime, ION, NBA TV, ABC, CBS Sports Network and CBS/Paramount+ will broadcast games across the year.

Rising to the top?

All eyes this season will be on the Fever after they selected Clark with the No. 1 pick in April’s 2024 WNBA draft.

Clark arrives in the WNBA with fanfare after enjoying a historic NCAA season with the Iowa Hawkeyes and announcing herself on a wider stage with high-profile sponsorship deals.

She is at the forefront of a new wave of interest in women’s basketball; ticket prices to watch the Fever more than doubled even before the draft and TickPick told CNN back in March that 83% of total tickets sold for the Fever’s upcoming season came after her announcement declaring for the draft. Her two preseason games for her new team have been sellouts, too.

Clark’s No. 22 Fever jerseys sold out within hours of going on sale, breaking the record for draft pick sales on draft night for any player in any sport, a Fanatics spokesperson told CNN; that record was subsequently broken days later by Caleb Williams after he was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 2024 NFL Draft.

But now Clark will lace up her shoes for her WNBA debut when she and her Indiana teammates travel to Connecticut to face the Sun.

Her debut will be another sellout after the Sun announced on Monday that all 8,910 tickets at Mohegan Sun Arena had been snapped up. The Sun last sold out the venue more than 20 years ago in 2003.

“This is what you’ve kind of worked for and dreamed of, and now you get to put your jersey on for the first real time and go out there and play, so I think more than anything, just soak in the moment,” Clark told reporters ahead of her debut.

“We get to play on the biggest stage, there’s going to be a lot of people there, it’s going to be loud, but you only play your first WNBA game once.”

The Fever had a disappointing 2023 campaign, missing the postseason and winning 13 games all season. There were reasons for optimism, though, in particular through the play of 2023 Rookie of the Year, Aliyah Boston.

The 22-year-old center had 14.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in her debut campaign. But now, paired with Clark at point guard, they could make for a terrifying combination for opposing defenses.

The Fever have not played in the playoffs since 2016 and the dominant years the franchise had under former head coach Lin Dunn – during which time they won one title – seem a long way away.

But with the pairing of the two budding potential stars in Clark and Boston, Indiana could be looking at a much more promising season in 2024.

New additions

There are plenty of fresh faces to be excited about heading into this new season.

The Los Angeles Sparks – who missed out on the playoffs last year – have had an intriguing injection of college talent in the forms of Cameron Brink and Rickea Jackson, who were drafted with the second and fourth picks of the draft respectively.

For a team which historically was one of the WNBA’s postseason regulars, the Sparks have missed out on the playoffs in the last three seasons but the addition of Brink and Jackson could give Los Angeles the defensive rigidity to blossom into a contender once again.

Another team which has two potentially game-changing draft pick additions is the Chicago Sky.

The Sky selected Kamilla Cardoso and Angel Reese with the third and seventh picks respectively in this year’s draft.

Both bring defensive and offensive traits to Illinois, playing starring roles in their respective college teams’ title-winning runs in the last two years. Reese helped LSU to the NCAA women’s basketball title in 2023, while Cardoso did the same this year for South Carolina.

Often it’s tough for rookies to make a meaningful impact in their first year in the professional league, but many members of the 2024 class are predicted to excel and help their new outfits in the wins column.

Can anyone stop the Aces?

The Las Vegas Aces have become the team to beat in the last two seasons.

The Aces have won back-to-back WNBA titles and possess a star-studded roster, headlined by two-time WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum and last year’s Sixth Player of the Year Alysha Clark.

The team’s roster was depleted by the retirement of Candance Parker last month, but the two-time WNBA MVP missed the majority of Las Vegas’ title run last season with a foot injury, a sign the team can function in her absence.

The question now moves to who can stop the Aces from winning three titles in a row?

The New York Liberty, the team which lost to Las Vegas in the WNBA Finals last year, look best placed to do so with their collection of superstar talent; Sabrina Ionescu, Breanna Stewart, Courtney Vandersloot and Jonquel Jones all ply their trade in the Barclays Center.

The Liberty have a poor record in the WNBA playoffs so far, however, having never won a title and lost in the Finals five times. But with head coach Sandy Brondello heading into her third year in the job, New York could be best placed to once again challenge Las Vegas for the title.

Elsewhere, the Connecticut Sun have title aspirations after losing in the semifinals of last season’s playoffs.

Their roster is led by Alyssa Thomas and DeWanna Bonner, with the team drafting Leila Lacan out of Angers in France with the 10th pick in this year’s draft.