Toronto to host 1st-ever WNBA preseason game in Canada
The WNBA will be played in Canada for the first time May 13 when the Minnesota Lynx take on the Chicago Sky for a preseason game at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena.
"We've seen record WNBA viewership over the last two seasons in Canada, and I'm told we have over 5-million WNBA fans in the country," WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert told reporters, including the Canadian Press' Lori Ewing.
"Globalizing the WNBA game has been a key pillar of how we're trying to grow the league ... Playing a game in Canada is a significant milestone for us."
The news comes as the WNBA looks to expand beyond its current 12-team format. The league has approximately 100 cities on its radar for a new franchise.
"Toronto is certainly one of the names on the narrowed list, but we're having conversations with several potential owner groups and many markets at this point," said Engelbert. "And we're just excited to see the passion for the game in Canada."
May's contest will be just the third time the WNBA has played outside of the United States. The league has also played in Mexico in 2004 and Great Britain in 2011. The league was planning on playing in Toronto back in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the season.
Minnesota's roster features two Canadian players: Bridget Carleton of Chatham, Ontario, and Natalie Achonwa of Guelph, Ontario.