The WNBA has announced that the first WNBA Canada Game will feature the Chicago Sky and Minnesota Lynx on May 13, 2023, at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. It will mark the first WNBA preseason game in Canada.
“Bringing a WNBA preseason game to Canada is an important milestone for the global growth of the league,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “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. And as Canadian stars like Bridget Carleton, Natalie Achonwa and Kia Nurse continue to flourish in and drive interest around the league, we’re looking forward building on the momentum and excitement surrounding the WNBA in Canada with this historic game.”
This will be the third WNBA preseason game to be played outside of the United States. In 2004, the Detroit Shock and San Antonio Silver Stars met in Monterrey, Mexico, and in 2011 the Atlanta Dream played the Great Britain Women’s basketball team in Manchester, England.
Chicago, which won the WNBA championship in 2021, reached the semifinals of the WNBA Playoffs this past season behind Kahleah Copper, Emma Meesseman and Candace Parker, all former Finals MVPs.
“The Chicago Sky are thrilled to have the opportunity to play the first ever preseason game in Toronto, Canada, and share the excitement of the WNBA with our friends up North,” said Sky President and Chief Executive Officer Adam Fox. “We know Canada has a rich women’s basketball history, passion for the game, and shared values around diversity, equity and inclusion.”
The Lynx won four WNBA championships from 2011 through 2017. During this past season, Minnesota was led by 2019 Kia WNBA Rookie of the Year Napheesa Collier, Aerial Powers and Canadian stars Achonwa and Carleton, who recently led Canada to the semifinals of the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.
“We are looking forward to participating in this historic game for the WNBA,” said Cheryl Reeve, Lynx head coach and president of basketball operations. “The league’s global popularity has shown incredible growth, and I am pleased our team will be a part of continuing to pave the path for the WNBA by bringing our game to Canada.”
The game will be broadcast live in Canada on Sportsnet and TSN and available to fans in the U.S. on WNBA League Pass.