The WNBA played its first game ever in Canada on Saturday afternoon in front of a full house at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The energy of the sold-out crowd was a sign of the backing an expansion franchise would encounter.

As the WNBA gears up to begin its 27th season next week, the Minnesota Lynx and the Chicago Sky played a preseason exhibition game on May 13th in Toronto, Canada. This was the WNBA’s third game outside of the United States.

Fans of women’s basketball have been pushing for a WNBA expansion club in Canada for a very long time, thus the excitement around that very moment began even before it was revealed that the game would be played in Toronto.

This was not only a historic occasion, but also a homecoming for one Minnesota Lynx player. Despite having only recently returned to North America after her abroad season last Sunday, Bridget Carleton of Chatham, Ontario, had never played a professional game in her own nation before Saturday’s match.

Young girls wearing WNBA sweatshirts filled the Scotiabank Arena crowd, making the occasion equally memorable for the Canadian basketball community. Before halftime, all of the WNBA merchandise at the in-arena shops was gone.

FanDuel Group, an American gaming company that is presently available in Ontario, Canada, announced the renewal of its multiyear partnership with the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in September 2022, making FanDuel an official sportsbook partner of the WNBA.

FanDuel’s Director, Content Activations and Brand, Alannah Della Vedova, pointed out the company’s initiatives to support women’s equality in sports. She shared how much FanDuel values the importance of supporting this growth, working to create more opportunities for women.”

Toronto supported the WNBA from the moment the game was announced in January until it sold out in 20 minutes on International Women’s Day and received a standing ovation when it concluded on Saturday.

The Chicago Sky, who defeated the Minnesota Lynx by 82-74 in the exhibition game, was pleased to be a part of the historic day “despite not having a Canadian on the team.”

Published by HOLR Magazine.

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