Inaugural WNBA Canada Game Exceeds Expectations with 19,000 in Attendance

Inaugural WNBA Canada Game Exceeds Expectations with 19,000 in Attendance

Toronto – The Inaugural WNBA Canada Game, presented by Tangerine Bank, hosted a pre-season matchup with the Minnesota Lynx and Chicago Sky at Scotiabank Arena.

The Chicago Sky defeated the Minnesota Lynx 82-74 in a pre-season clash north of the border. Kahleah Copper scored a game-high 18 points to lead to way. Ontario native Bridget Carleton had three points and two rebounds in 12 minutes. Carleton was greeted by thousands of fans, friends, and family ahead of Saturday’s game and received a warm ovation in front of a packed house at Scotiabank Arena. To say this game was a defining moment for Women’s sports would be an understatement. Saturday’s game aired nationally in Canada and the US and featured a superstar lineup of an all-women Canadian broadcast. The WNBA’s first visit to Canada s reached national supremacy, as the City of Toronto has proclaimed May 13th as “Welcome WNBA Day” to commemorate the day.

“ So excited to be here in Toronto, this is a seminal moment for this league, We are thrilled with the reception.” – Cathy Engelberth.

After Saturday’s game, thousands of fans shared their appreciation as they take photos of the WNBA statue outside the arena. There’s high optimism that Toronto will be a potential expansion team in the near future. WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert has informed reporters that the WNBA is eyeing 10 interested ownership groups, sources told The AthleticDespite the league’s gap without an expansion, prominent Canadian players are hopeful that the WNBA will expand into Canada. The WNBA expanding into the Canadian ecosystem provides an infrastructure for homegrown athletes to compete at the highest level with added visibility to the league. 

“A part of me always hoped there would be opportunities here in Canada, I loved playing in the W and the things we did in our community. I always felt I was doing things in other communities. I never had the chance to be back home. – Kayla Alexander.

NBA Canada reported the average viewership of WNBA games in Canada has increased by over 90% in the last three years. The WNBA social media accounts set a record for engagement with 282 million views, a 42% increase from 2021. The success of the WNBA Canada Game is paramount to the growth of Women’s sports and is a “step in the right direction”. The 27th season of the WNBA kicks off on Friday, May 19th, featuring three Commissioner Cup games. 

Written by: Hussein Abdullahi

Published by: TGQ Inc.

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