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WNBA Set to Test Its Popularity, Weigh Expansion in Canada

  • The Minnesota Lynx and Chicago Sky will play a pre-season game at Scotiabank Arena in May.
  • It will be the first game the WNBA has played in the country.
WNBA
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Canada has the chance to prove why it should get a WNBA team.

Toronto is hosting a preseason game between the Minnesota Lynx and Chicago Sky in May at Scotiabank Arena that will air on Sportsnet and TSN.

“This is the way to assess the popularity of the sport in Canada,” said WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “We’re certainly excited to see how the market responds, and certainly the fans in the country from a viewership perspective as well.”

  • It will be the first WNBA game played in the country.
  • A scheduled preseason game in Toronto was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
  • The league played in Mexico in 2004 and Great Britain in 2011.

Toronto’s Time?

The timeline to expand and number of expansion teams for the 12-team league is unclear.

“A league of our size and scope … we’re going to expand at the right time,” Engelbert said. “Toronto’s certainly one of the names on the narrowed list.”

The WNBPA has suggested Nashville and the Bay Area (both Oakland and San Francisco are considered contenders) as expansion sites.

Engelbert previously said new teams would need around 18-24 months to prepare, including hiring coaches and executives and bringing on players through an expansion draft.