By Mike Rose

The APSE Commissioners Meetings returned for the first time in over three years this week in New York City.

Among the highlights of the two-day event was the addition of the National Women’s Soccer League and new commissioner Jessica Berman, a Brooklyn native who started in the position in late April. Berman discussed the league’s plans for expansion in 2024 as well as the importance of better media access throughout the league.

Editors from media outlets across the country traversed the streets of Manhattan to meet at the offices of MLB, MLS, the NHL and the NBA and WNBA. The group also visited the Associated Press headquarters in lower Manhattan for sessions with NASCAR and the NWSL.

The meetings were an annual event but had not taken place since April 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

APSE president Gary Potosky, Assistant Managing Editor/Sports for The Philadelphia Inquirer, said it was important to return to in-person meetings with the leagues and continue the ongoing dialogue of media access in the age of COVID-19.

“It’s really important to re-establish relationships,” Potosky said. “They know we care about what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, all the processes. … The relationship elevates the importance of what we’re talking about and it elevates the importance of APSE’s relationship with the leagues.”

Media access issues were a point of conversation for APSE coming into this week’s meetings as leagues deal with the challenges of reopening locker rooms.

“It’s great to see people talk about the value of having open locker rooms and having more access,” Potosky said. “There’s momentum in that direction.”

The discussions also focused on current news and the futures of each of the leagues.

Potosky commended Hank Winnicki, AME/Sports at Newsday, for organizing this year’s schedule of meetings.

“He should be called out in this. Great job,” Potosky said. “I did this for four years. It’s not easy.”

Mike Rose is the deputy AME/Sports at Newsday.