top of page
  • Writer's pictureMK Ferry

WNBA in Canada: A Means to Expansion

For the first time in WNBA history, they are taking the court in Canada. This historic game sold out in minutes. The game will take place on May 13th in Toronto at Scotiabank Arena, featuring the Chicago Sky and the Minnesota Lynx.

Along with the game, the WNBA has planned various activities for the weekend to create an even larger spectacle on their very first visit to Canada. There will be player appearances at Canada-based retailers Sport Chek and Canada Goose. Natalie Achonwa will be at Sport Chek while Rebekah Gardener and Dana Evans will be at Canada Goose the day before the game at various. Nike is also collaborating to have a customization studio for fans to get one-of-a-kind WNBA merch in celebration.

Even though this is only a preseason game, the fact that it sold out quickly is nothing short of amazing. It shows the desire to support and attend games from fans in Toronto plus the surrounding areas.

With the success of this preseason game, it brings up the topic of expansion. A recurring conversation topic in the league... The last time a team was added to the WNBA was in 2007 when the Atlanta Dream was formed. The team began playing in the 2008 season which was 15 years ago.

With current roster spots being very limited for the 12 teams in the league. In turn, this means many players don’t receive the chance to shine due to small roster sizes and limited team options.

“Honestly, it's the recognition that we need in order to get more teams, and in order to build ourselves as female athletes is actually coming from the young men and the boys and the other male athletes. We need that engagement. We need that population to respect the women's game to help grow, because we can try and grow our own league and our own game with just women athletes, and we've done that, and we will continue to succeed in that area. But until we have respect from our male counterparts it's not going to be any sort of equal playing field, ” Anneli Maley shared her thoughts on the expansion topic.

Photo via Chicago Sky Media Day

It’s clear that the league needs to expand but going about it in the correct way to set everyone up for success might be what's taking so long in adding new teams. Players hope that branching out and playing games in cities without a WNBA team will show the league that the support for more teams is there.

Efforts like these aim to inspire ownership groups to form and help the league expand. Expansion needs to happen to keep the future of women’s basketball on the up. This sold-out pre-season game in Canada is the perfect example of a city that is ready to bring the WNBA to them.

The Sky take on the Lynx in Toronto with tip-off set for 4PM EST. The game can be watched on Bally Sports North and WNBA League Pass for fans in the United States and internationally while fans in Canada can watch it on Sportsnet and TSN.


bottom of page