The Lynx will be taking a trip to Canada in May.
They and the Chicago Sky will play on May 13 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto in the first WNBA preseason game to be played in Canada.
The game, just the third WNBA game played outside the United States, is part of commissioner Cathy Engelbert's plan to grow the league's popularity worldwide, and she indicated there will be more games outside the country played in the future.
"I've spoken often of the global popularity of women's basketball,'' Engelbert said. "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.''
Why the Lynx and Chicago matchup? Proximity played a part, Engelbert said. But the teams also showed an interest. It helps that the 2022 Lynx had two Canadians — Bridget Carleton and Natalie Achonwa — on the roster. Achonwa, who is pregnant, will not play Carleton is currently a free agent, but is expected to return to the Lynx.
"We are looking forward to participating in this historic game for the WNBA,'' Lynx coach and President of Basketball Operations Cheryl Reeve said. "The league's global popularity has shown incredible growth, and I'm pleased our team will be a part of continuing to pave the path for the WNBA by bringing our game to Canada.''
As the league continues to consider expansion, Engelbert said in a conference call with reporters that Toronto was one of several cities under consideration should the league decide to grow. With the WNBA's regular season now expanded to 40 games, she said there is a possibility the league would consider playing a regular-season game outside the United States, with Canada and Mexico being the most likely hosts.
This will be the third time the WNBA has played a preseason game outside the U.S. In 2004 the Detroit Shock and San Antonio Silver Stars — two franchises who later relocated — played in Monterrey, Mexico. In 2011 the Atlanta Dream played the Standard Life Great Britain women's team in Manchester, England.
The WNBA was planning to play a preseason game in Toronto in 2020, but those plans were put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.