Toronto To Host First-Ever WNBA Preseaon Game In Canada

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) will finally host its first WNBA game in Canada.

The Minnesota Lynx, featuring two of Canada’s three current WNBA players in Bridget Carleton (Chatham, Ont.) and Natalie Achonwa (Guelph, Ont.) will play the Chicago Sky on Saturday, May 13th 2023 at Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto.

“It is monumental to be a part of history when it comes to being the first WNBA team to play a game in Canada,” Sky coach/general manager James Wade said. “This WNBA introduction will be a key moment when it comes to high-level professional basketball expanding into Canada, and we are very excited to partake in growing the sport there.”

The WNBA’s first preseason game in Canada originally was scheduled for 2020. Commissioner Cathy Engelbert was supposed to make an announcement that March before the COVID-19 pandemic halted plans. The Sky and Lynx were being considered for the game.

The Detroit Shock and San Antonio Silver Stars played in Monterrey, Mexico, in 2004, and the Atlanta Dream played the Standard Life Great Britain team in Manchester, England, in 2011.

Toronto remains on the short list of potential expansion locations for the WNBA. Engelbert indicated that the league would announce an expansion team before the end of the year, with hopes of the new team being ready for the 2024 season. According to reports, the WNBA’s expansion team is not expected to begin play until 2025 at the earliest.

“We’re going to expand at the right time,” Engelbert said. “We looked at about 100 different cities, and I’ve talked about narrowing that. Toronto is certainly one of the names on the narrowed list. We’re having conversations with several potential ownership groups in many markets at this point.”

While Engelbert didn’t say where Toronto ranks on the list, she did say this game will help the league assess the WNBA’s popularity in Canada. via

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