WNBA set to test its popularity, weighing expansion in Canada

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

Toronto hosts a preseason game between Minnesota Lynx and Chicago Sky in May at Scotiabank Arena that will be shown on Sportsnet and TSN.

“This is the way to rate the popularity of the sport in Canada,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “We’re definitely excited to see how the market reacts, and definitely the fans in the country from a viewing perspective.”

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

Toronto time?

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

“A league of our size and scope … we will expand at the right time,” Engelbert said. “Toronto is definitely one of the names on the narrowed list.”

The WNBPA has suggested Nashville and bay area (both Oakland and San Francisco are considered candidates) as expansion sites.

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

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