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Cathy Engelbert says she expects WNBA expansion no later than 2025

WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert speaks before presenting the WNBA All-Star MVP award at Wintrust Arena. (Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert opened up about the league’s plan for expansion during her press conference ahead of Sunday’s All-Star Game.

“I’m hoping that it’ll be a couple teams by no later than ’25, but I’d love it in ’24, but probably looking out to that kind of timeline, and again, lots of cities interested,” Engelbert told reporters. “That’s the good news, and now we have to find the right ownership groups with the right commitment and financial wherewithal to really be committed to standing up a WNBA team in their city.”

She added that the WNBA has been analyzing about 100 cities to determine which locations would best serve as additions to the league. In June, she told The Athletic that 10 to 12 cities were on the league’s short list for prospective expansion markets.

The WNBA commissioner said the league is also extending its schedule revealing that the 2023 regular season will feature 40 games, an increase from this year’s record 36 matchups.

“We’re seeing tremendous interest in the game, evidenced by viewership, and everything from draft on to today,” Engelbert said. “Our response to that also is to continue to try to grow, and we want to grow our footprint.”

Engelbert says she hopes to eventually get to 44 games in a season, but wants to be mindful of national team commitments and the Olympic break in 2024.