Cathy Engelbert believes the “depth” of the WNBA would support eventual expansion.
Engelbert spoke with Bally Sports North game announcers on air during the second quarter of the New York Liberty at Minnesota Lynx game on Aug. 31 as well as with the media at halftime. During that time the topic of expansion was once again brought up.
“The conversation on expansion is a great one to be having for a league that’s growing,” she said in response to a question related to the city of Oakland approving a WNBA team. “So it’s a good signal and sign that everybody’s talking about it and different cities are contacting us and things like that, but we need to be very thoughtful about it, I think I told you, a year ago or so in the lead in to the draft and the season that we’re undergoing a business transformation around the economics of the league.”
Engelbert then added that she believes the league’s depth would support expansion based on the difficulties and talent it takes to make a WNBA team when looking at first and second round draft picks.
She added that in about a year, the league will likely be looking more seriously at expansion, including how many teams and the cities they will be located in.
“It’s going to be driven by data and analysis of markets that would support women’s professional basketball, women’s sports, committed owners, the right demographics values and all that stuff,” she continued. “There’s plenty of cities in this country that deserve a WNBA team, so we’ll be talking more seriously about that.”