Rapper Drake took to Instagram on Wednesday to call on the WNBA to put a new franchise in his hometown.
"@WNBA I need a Toronto team," Drake wrote on his Instagram story.
Drake's comments come amid not only a continuing surge in interest in basketball in Canada, but also recent public acknowledgments that the WNBA is looking to expand.
Ahead of Game 1 of the 2021 WNBA Finals, commissioner Cathy Engelbert said, “Expansion is on the horizon." Adding that while there is timeline for the league's expansion she hopes to relay more information during next season.
Engelbert added the WNBA is using about 15 metrics to evaluate a variety of locations, and then possible ownership groups have to be determined.
“The data looks like it’s going to read out some interesting information for us to start having exploratory discussions with certain cities, and make sure that we can find great ownership groups to support a WNBA team and great fan bases," Engelbert said. "So that’s why I think looking at how those cities are already supporting the WNBA, whether it’s viewership, merch sales or other things or whether they’re supporting women’s sports or women’s college basketball are great indicators of how it would get supported if a WNBA team were to go in that market.”
Oakland is also among the possible sites floated for an expansion team. Alana Beard, a former WNBA All-Star who won a championship with the Los Angeles Sparks, recently announced she was teaming up with a Black ownership group to bring a pro women’s basketball team to the Oakland Arena.
“I absolutely believe there is a market,” Beard said last week. “We’ve done a deep dive in the market research and understand that there is no better place in this moment in time to have a WNBA team in this market.”
As it pertains to a Toronto team specifically, it's not unreasonable to think that if Drake wanted a team in the Canadian city, he could be part of an ownership group to bring one there. According to Forbes, in 2019, Drake, who is already a team ambassador for the Raptors, had a net worth of $150 million.
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