NY Liberty tips off new season tonight: Will this be their year?

The 28th season of the WNBA tips off, with the New York Liberty looking to build on last season's success. The league as a whole is poised to take significant strides forward, bolstered by a wave of star power that's driving increased interest and viewership. The big question remains: can this growing attention translate into more revenue for the league and its players?

JUMP TO: How to live stream NY Liberty games for free

The New York Liberty and the Las Vegas Aces tip off during Game Three of the Championship Round of the 2023 WNBA Finals at the Barclays Center on October 15, 2023 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

One standout figure is Caitlin Clark, described as a once-in-a-lifetime talent, who will make just $76,000 this season. The pay disparity between WNBA and NBA players is stark, but the numbers indicating increased interest in the women's league are hard to ignore. Viewership of events like the draft shows the enthusiasm is there. Will the money follow? Indicators are heading in the right direction, though some experts believe it will take more time.

RELATED: How to live stream New York Liberty games for free, 2024 schedule

For the New York Liberty, the new season brings big expectations and dreams of a championship. A passionate fan expressed their hopes: "We need to win this year. We're coming back for what we deserve. I've been a fan since '97, and we need the championship finally. New York deserves it. I feel it."

Sabrina Ionescu #20 and Courtney Vandersloot #22 of the New York Liberty react against the Seattle Storm at the Barclays Center on July 25, 2023 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

If it feels like there's something different for women's sports this year, it's because there is, and it's inspiring the next generation to play. "The excitement and how they inspire people to play basketball," said a young fan, capturing the essence of the sport's impact.

This enthusiasm on the court is translating to economic benefits of it like never before. Deloitte, a leading financial firm, predicts that women's sports will break an elite barrier this year, generating more than $1 billion in revenue for the first time, with women's soccer and basketball leading the way. 

"It's been a long time coming," said Liberty star Breanna Stewart during Media Day, on a panel with Tina Cervasio. Stewart emphasized that the new opportunities on and off the court are real. 

This progress is boosted by record viewership of the WNBA draft, with all eyes on Caitlin Clark. Drafted first overall by the Indiana Fever, Clark's popularity has the potential to boost TV numbers and merchandise sales across the league. Liberty GM Jonathan Kolb highlighted Clark's impact: "What Caitlin is going to do for that franchise and Indiana and for the league at large... I don't know if we've seen it before, just from a magnitude standpoint, right off the bat."

Kolb added, "It's probably going to be that environment in Indiana, then right back here for our opener. It's nothing but excitement on our end. And I'm really excited for Caitlin to be here in the league."

How to live stream NY Liberty games

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2024 New York Liberty schedule

Games streaming for free on FOX LOCAL

  • Tuesday, May 14: @ Washington (7 p.m.)
  • Thursday, May 16: @ Indiana (7 p.m.)
  • Monday, May 20: vs. Seattle (7 p.m.)
  • Thursday, May 23: vs. Chicago (7 p.m.)
  • Sunday, June 2: vs. Indiana (7 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, June 4: @ Chicago (8 p.m.)
  • Thursday, June 6: @ Atlanta (7:30 p.m.)
  • Sunday, June 9: vs. Washington (3 p.m.)
  • Thursday, June 20: vs. Los Angeles (7 p.m.)
  • Sunday, June 23: vs. Atlanta (3 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, July 2: vs Minnesota (7 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, July 10: @ Connecticut (11 a.m.)
  • Thursday, July 11: vs. Chicago (7 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, July 16: vs. Connecticut (7 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, Aug. 20 vs. Dallas (7 p.m.)
  • Thursday, Aug. 22 vs. Dallas (7 p.m.)
  • Saturday, Aug. 24 vs. Connecticut (7 p.m.)
  • Monday, Aug. 26: @ Phoenix (10 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, Aug. 28: @ Los Angeles (10 p.m.)
  • Thursday, Sept. 5 vs. Seattle (7 p.m.)
  • Thursday, Sept. 12: @ Dallas (8 p.m.)
  • Sunday, Sept. 15: vs. Minnesota (3 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 17: @ Washington (7 p.m.)
  • Thursday, Sept. 19: vs. Atlanta (7 p.m.)

Games on national TV (won't be streamed)

  • Saturday, May 18: vs. Indiana (1 p.m.)
  • Saturday, May 25: @ Minnesota (1 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, May 29: vs. Phoenix (7 p.m.)
  • Friday, May 31: vs. Washington (7:30 p.m.)
  • Saturday, June 8: @ Connecticut (1 p.m.)
  • Saturday, June 15: @ Las Vegas (3 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, June 18: @ Phoenix (10 p.m.)
  • Saturday, June 22: vs. Los Angeles (3 p.m.)
  • Sunday, June 30: vs. Atlanta (1 p.m.)
  • Saturday, July 6: @ Indiana (1 p.m.)
  • Saturday, July 13: @ Chicago (1 p.m.)
  • Thursday, Aug. 15: @ Los Angeles (9 p.m.)
  • Saturday, Aug. 17: @ Las Vegas (4 p.m.)
  • Friday, Aug. 30: @ Seattle (10 p.m.)
  • Sunday, Sept. 8: vs. Las Vegas (4 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 10: @ Dallas (8 p.m.)