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WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert Envision 16 Teams By 2028

Photo Credit: Marvin Chambers

Brooklyn, NY—-WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert conveyed optimism regarding the league’s expansion endeavors in her recent discussion at the WNBA Draft24. She outlined a vision for 16 teams by 2028, with the possibility of a new addition as early as 2026. Notably, the WNBA welcomed its 13th team last year, owned and operated by the Warriors, marking the first expansion since the Atlanta Dream in 2008.

Given the surge in interest in women’s basketball, both players and fans have advocated for expansion. Currently comprising 12 teams, each with 12 roster spots, the league’s capacity is capped at 144 players.

“It’s complex because you need the arena and practice facility and player housing and all the things you need, committed long-term ownership groups,” Engelbert said before Friday’s WNBA draft. “And so, the nice thing is we’re getting a lot of calls, we’re continuing to engage with cities.”

Engelbert underscored the intricacies involved in expansion, citing the necessity of suitable arenas, practice facilities, player accommodations, and committed ownership. She mentioned ongoing deliberations with cities like Philadelphia, Toronto, Portland, Denver, Nashville, and South Florida regarding potential expansion franchises.

The Commissioner emphasized that negotiation timelines can vary based on securing the right ownership and arena arrangements. Furthermore, the league intends to conduct an expansion draft for the Golden State franchise, which is yet to unveil its official name.

First round

1. Indiana Fever: Caitlin Clark, G, Iowa

2. Los Angeles Sparks: Cameron Brink, F, Stanford

3. Chicago Sky: Kamilla Cardoso, C, South Carolina

4. Los Angeles Sparks: Rickea Jackson, F, Tennessee

5. Dallas Wings: Jacy Sheldon, G, Ohio State

6. Washington Mystics: Aaliyah Edwards, F, UConn

7. Chicago Sky: Angel Reese, F, LSU

8. Minnesota Lynx: Alissa Pili, F, Utah

9. Dallas Wings: Carla Leite, G, France

10. Connecticut Sun: Leila Lacan, G, France

11. New York Liberty: Marquesha Davis, F, Ole Miss

12. Atlanta Dream: Nyadiew Puoch, F, Australia