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Vegas tourism authority sponsoring each Aces player for $100K in 2024 and 2025; WNBA investigating.

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Vegas tourism authority sponsoring each Aces player for $100K in 2024 and 2025; WNBA investigating.
News

News

Vegas tourism authority sponsoring each Aces player for $100K in 2024 and 2025; WNBA investigating.

2024-05-19 05:08 Last Updated At:05:10

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is providing a $100,000 annual sponsorship to each Aces player for this season and 2025.

The WNBA is investigating whether the sponsorships are allowed.

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Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon speaks with her players during the second half of a WNBA basketball game against the Phoenix Mercury, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is providing a $100,000 annual sponsorship to each Aces player for this season and 2025.

From left, Las Vegas Aces guard Sydney Colson, guard Kierstan Bell and forward Alysha Clark react as they open boxes with their 2023 championship rings before a WNBA basketball game Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

From left, Las Vegas Aces guard Sydney Colson, guard Kierstan Bell and forward Alysha Clark react as they open boxes with their 2023 championship rings before a WNBA basketball game Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Vegas tourism authority sponsoring each Aces player for $100K in 2024 and 2025; WNBA investigating.

Vegas tourism authority sponsoring each Aces player for $100K in 2024 and 2025; WNBA investigating.

Vegas tourism authority sponsoring each Aces player for $100K in 2024 and 2025; WNBA investigating.

Vegas tourism authority sponsoring each Aces player for $100K in 2024 and 2025; WNBA investigating.

FILE - Iowa's Kate Martin, left, poses for a photo with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert, right, after being selected 18th overall by the Las Vegas Aces during the second round of the WNBA basketball draft April 15, 2024, in New York. Former Iowa player Martin made the Aces opening day roster after being chosen in the second round of the WNBA draft. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)

FILE - Iowa's Kate Martin, left, poses for a photo with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert, right, after being selected 18th overall by the Las Vegas Aces during the second round of the WNBA basketball draft April 15, 2024, in New York. Former Iowa player Martin made the Aces opening day roster after being chosen in the second round of the WNBA draft. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)

This isn’t the Aces first run-in with the league over the last few years. Last year, the WNBA suspended Aces coach Becky Hammon for two games and took away the Aces’ 2025 first-round draft pick because the franchise violated league rules regarding impermissible player benefits and workplace policies.

The sponsorship does not violate the WNBA’s salary cap because the Las Vegas authority did not orchestrate it with the club. But other teams are likely to raise questions about the fairness of the sponsorship and whether it violates the spirit of the cap rules.

The authority posted a video on X of president and CEO Steve Hill telling the players in the locker room the news on Friday.

“The Aces have been on an historic run — two-time world champions,” Hill said on the video before informing the players. “We’re here to do something historic with them, too.”

The players were thrilled by the move.

“The city of Vegas I’ve always said, it’s a big small town and they just want the best for the people here,” point guard Chelsea Gray said before the Aces' home game Saturday against the Los Angeles Sparks. "They’re investing in us and so they put their money where their mouth is. We’ve done so much for the city and having fun doing it.

“It was a great moment for me and my teammates, of somebody actually putting funds behind, saying that they’re supporting and they want to have our back.”

According to the website Spotrac, which tracks player salaries, the sponsorship is higher than the earnings of six Aces players.

“Definitely more than my salary,” said rookie Kate Martin, who makes $67,249, according to the website. “I’m super thankful. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming, but this is very much real life and that is what all these players deserve. I wouldn’t be getting this crazy bonus if it weren’t for how great all of these players have played in the last few years.”

The $100,000 also is a big addition even to what the top players make. A’ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum are the highest-paid Aces at $200,000 each and Gray is right behind at $196,267.

“(For) the LVCVA to see our value and to help close that pay gap, it says a lot about the character of the people that are there,” said Alysha Clark, whose salary is listed at $110,000. “So I’m extremely grateful. I’m honored to be able to represent this organization and this city and be able to put on for the city, give back to this city and pour into the community, and that’s what they did for us. It was really, really special.”

AP Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg and AP freelance writer W.G. Ramirez contributed to this report.

AP WNBA: https://apnews.com/hub/wnba-basketball

Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon speaks with her players during the second half of a WNBA basketball game against the Phoenix Mercury, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon speaks with her players during the second half of a WNBA basketball game against the Phoenix Mercury, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

From left, Las Vegas Aces guard Sydney Colson, guard Kierstan Bell and forward Alysha Clark react as they open boxes with their 2023 championship rings before a WNBA basketball game Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

From left, Las Vegas Aces guard Sydney Colson, guard Kierstan Bell and forward Alysha Clark react as they open boxes with their 2023 championship rings before a WNBA basketball game Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Vegas tourism authority sponsoring each Aces player for $100K in 2024 and 2025; WNBA investigating.

Vegas tourism authority sponsoring each Aces player for $100K in 2024 and 2025; WNBA investigating.

Vegas tourism authority sponsoring each Aces player for $100K in 2024 and 2025; WNBA investigating.

Vegas tourism authority sponsoring each Aces player for $100K in 2024 and 2025; WNBA investigating.

FILE - Iowa's Kate Martin, left, poses for a photo with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert, right, after being selected 18th overall by the Las Vegas Aces during the second round of the WNBA basketball draft April 15, 2024, in New York. Former Iowa player Martin made the Aces opening day roster after being chosen in the second round of the WNBA draft. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)

FILE - Iowa's Kate Martin, left, poses for a photo with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert, right, after being selected 18th overall by the Las Vegas Aces during the second round of the WNBA basketball draft April 15, 2024, in New York. Former Iowa player Martin made the Aces opening day roster after being chosen in the second round of the WNBA draft. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)

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Denmark advances to last 16 at European Championship after 0-0 draw with Serbia

2024-06-26 05:24 Last Updated At:05:31

MUNICH (AP) — Denmark advanced to the last 16 at the European Championship after a 0-0 draw with Serbia on Tuesday.

The Danes finished Group C with three points, the same as Slovenia, but ended up in second place because of a better qualifying ranking. Slovenia, which drew 0-0 with group-winner England, also advanced to the knockout stage at Euro 2024.

Denmark had most of the chances even though Serbia needed a victory to reach the next round. And almost all of those Danish opportunities came through Christian Eriksen, who was making a record 133rd appearance for his country.

Denmark and Slovenia finished even on points, goal difference, goals scored and disciplinary points.

Slovenia's result against England also eliminated Croatia, which finished third in Group B.

Earlier Tuesday, Kylian Mbappé scored his first goal at a European Championship in France's 1-1 draw with Poland. The French finished runner-up in Group D behind Austria, which beat the Netherlands 3-2.

Mbappé, who wore a mask after breaking his nose in France’s opening game against Austria, scored from the penalty spot. Robert Lewandowski equalized with spot kick to give already-eliminated Poland its first point of the tournament.

Tennis great Novak Djokovic was in the stadium in Munich to cheer on Serbia. He walked onto the field before the match to chants of “Nole, Nole” from his country’s fans.

Tuesday's match had the longest wait for the first attempt in a Euro 2024 game, with Denmark defender Alexander Bah heading the ball wide in the 16th minute.

The Danes went closer five minutes later when Eriksen’s shot was pushed around the right post by Serbia goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic.

Denmark put the ball in the net moments later but it was disallowed because Jonas Wind had wrestled Rajkovic to the ground as both players and the ball went over the line following a corner from Eriksen.

Serbia also had a goal ruled out early in the second half. Luka Jovic, one of three halftime substitutes for Serbia, was offside before Joachim Andersen bundled the ball into his own net.

Disappointed Serbian fans hurled plastic cups onto the field after the disallowed goal, causing a brief stoppage as stewards ran to clear them.

AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

Denmark's Joachim Andersen, left, and Serbia's Dusan Vlahovic challenge for the ball during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Denmark's Joachim Andersen, left, and Serbia's Dusan Vlahovic challenge for the ball during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

=Denmark's Jonas Wind, right, and Serbia's goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic lie in the goal during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

=Denmark's Jonas Wind, right, and Serbia's goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic lie in the goal during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Serbia's goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic, center right, tussles with Denmark's Jonas Wind during an attempt on goal during a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Serbia's goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic, center right, tussles with Denmark's Jonas Wind during an attempt on goal during a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Serbia's Aleksandar Mitrovic, right, argues with Denmark's Joachim Andersen, center left, during a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Serbia's Aleksandar Mitrovic, right, argues with Denmark's Joachim Andersen, center left, during a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Denmark's Rasmus Hojlund, right, and Serbia's Nemanja Gudelj challenge for the ball during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Denmark's Rasmus Hojlund, right, and Serbia's Nemanja Gudelj challenge for the ball during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Serbia's head coach Dragan Stojkovic watches during a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Serbia's head coach Dragan Stojkovic watches during a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Serbia's Luka Jovic, kneels on the pitch after a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. The match ended in a score of 0-0. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Serbia's Luka Jovic, kneels on the pitch after a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. The match ended in a score of 0-0. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Denmark's head coach Kasper Hjulmand reacts after a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Denmark's head coach Kasper Hjulmand reacts after a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Denmark's Andreas Christensen (6), Kasper Dolberg (12) and teammates react after a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Denmark's Andreas Christensen (6), Kasper Dolberg (12) and teammates react after a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Denmark and Serbia players on the pitch after a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. The match ended in a score of 0-0. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Denmark and Serbia players on the pitch after a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. The match ended in a score of 0-0. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Denmark and Serbia players on the pitch after a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. The match ended in a score of 0-0. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Denmark and Serbia players on the pitch after a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. The match ended in a score of 0-0. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Serbia's Luka Jovic, left, avoids the challenge from Denmark's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Serbia's Luka Jovic, left, avoids the challenge from Denmark's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Denmark's Kasper Dolberg, left, and Serbia's Andrija Zivkovic, center, battle for the ball during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Denmark's Kasper Dolberg, left, and Serbia's Andrija Zivkovic, center, battle for the ball during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

An invader is caught during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. Left is Denmark's goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

An invader is caught during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. Left is Denmark's goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Security tackle a man who runs onto the pitch during a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Security tackle a man who runs onto the pitch during a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Serbia's Strahinja Pavlovic (2) and Denmark's Andreas Skov Olsen battle for a header during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Serbia's Strahinja Pavlovic (2) and Denmark's Andreas Skov Olsen battle for a header during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Serbia's Filip Mladenovic (25) and Denmark's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (23) battle for the ball during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Serbia's Filip Mladenovic (25) and Denmark's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (23) battle for the ball during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Denmark's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (23) slides in to tackle the ball from Serbia's Luka Jovic (8) during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Denmark's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (23) slides in to tackle the ball from Serbia's Luka Jovic (8) during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Denmark's Joakim Maehle, center, and Serbia's Filip Mladenovic, left, battle for the ball during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Denmark's Joakim Maehle, center, and Serbia's Filip Mladenovic, left, battle for the ball during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Serbia's Sasa Lukic (22) and Denmark's Christian Eriksen battle for the ball during a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Serbia's Sasa Lukic (22) and Denmark's Christian Eriksen battle for the ball during a Group C match between Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Denmark's Joachim Andersen, centre's and Serbia's Aleksandar Mitrovic have an argument during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. Left is Denmark's goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Denmark's Joachim Andersen, centre's and Serbia's Aleksandar Mitrovic have an argument during a Group C match between the Denmark and Serbia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. Left is Denmark's goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

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