The Chicago Sky and Minnesota Lynx will meet for a preseason matchup north of the border as they face off in the WNBA’s first-ever game in Canada.
The game — scheduled for May 13 – will take place at Scotiabank Arena, home of the Toronto Raptors.
This will be the first time the WNBA has played in Canada and only the third time a team from the league has played outside the U.S.
In 2004, the Detroit Shock and San Antonio Silver Stars faced off in Monterrey, Mexico and in 2011, the Atlanta Dream went to Manchester, England, to play the Standard Life Great Britain women’s basketball team.
The NBA has a long-standing relationship with Canada, dating back to 1995 when they added expansion franchises in Vancouver and Toronto. Just in the past decade, there have been 24 Canadians drafted in the NBA including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, RJ Barrett and Benedict Mathurin.
While the WNBA’s foothold in Canada isn’t as established, league commissioner Cathy Engelbert said “bringing a WNBA preseason game to Canada is an important milestone for the global growth of the league.”
“I’ve spoken often of the global popularity of women’s basketball and, this past season, WNBA games were broadcast in 207 countries and territories, including in Canada, where fans have shown a great appetite for WNBA action.”
Engelbert specifically pointed to Lynx duo Bridget Carleton and Natalie Achonwa as examples of Canadian stars who “continue to flourish in and drive interest around the league…”
Carleton led Team Canada in scoring with 12.9 points per game at the FIBA World Cup last year. Achonwa was the team’s second-leading rebounder.