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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)

Next Article

A meteor streaked over the NYC skyline before disintegrating over New Jersey

2024-07-18 01:26 Last Updated At:01:30

NEW YORK (AP) — A meteor streaked over the New York City skyline before disintegrating over nearby New Jersey, according to NASA.

William Cooke, the head of the space agency's Meteoroid Environments Office, said the fireball was first sighted at an altitude of 51 miles (82 kilometers) above Manhattan at around 11:17 a.m. Tuesday.

The meteor passed over the southern part of Newark, New Jersey, before disintegrating 31 miles (50 kilometers) above the town of Mountainside, he said. No meteorites or other fragments of space debris reached the planet's surface.

The space rock moved at a speed of about 41,000 mph (66,000 kph) and descended at a relatively steep angle of 44 degrees from vertical, Cooke said.

Its exact trajectory is uncertain, since reports are based only on eyewitness accounts and no camera or satellite data is currently available, he said.

As of Wednesday morning, there had been approximately 40 eyewitness reports filed on the American Meteor Society website, which the agency used to generate its estimates, Cooke said.

The fireball was not part of the Perseid meteor shower, and reports of loud booms and shaking could be explained by military aircraft in the vicinity around the time of its appearance, he said.

Cooke said the New York City area gets treated to a daylight fireball every year or two.

NASA’s Meteoroid Environments Office said in a Facebook post that small rocks like the one that produced Tuesday’s fireball are only about a foot (a third of a meter) in diameter and can’t remain intact all the way to the ground.

FILE - People look out at the New York City skyline at sunset, Sunday, June 16, 2024, in Jersey City, N.J. A meteor streaked across the New York City skyline before disintegrating over nearby New Jersey, according to NASA. William Cooke, the head of the space agency's Meteoroid Environments Office, said the fireball was first sighted at an altitude of 51 miles (82 kilometers) above Manhattan at around 11:17 a.m. Tuesday, Juky 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson, File)

FILE - People look out at the New York City skyline at sunset, Sunday, June 16, 2024, in Jersey City, N.J. A meteor streaked across the New York City skyline before disintegrating over nearby New Jersey, according to NASA. William Cooke, the head of the space agency's Meteoroid Environments Office, said the fireball was first sighted at an altitude of 51 miles (82 kilometers) above Manhattan at around 11:17 a.m. Tuesday, Juky 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson, File)

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