Drake is known to be a fan of many different sports teams, but is looking to hang another jersey in his closet. He wants a WNBA team in Toronto.
The musician took to Instagram Stories on Wednesday to post that his hometown in Ontario is slated to be the next home of a WNBA franchise. Especially after the Toronto Raptors won the NBA title in 2019, the thirst for the game has only grown across the country.
As the popularity of basketball has increased in Canada in recent years, it seems obvious that there would be enough local fans to support an expansion team. Drake would have to do whatever he can – more than just an Instagram story – to make it happen.
– Khristina Williams (@ Khristina2334) November 3, 2021
If this deal goes through, it would be the only professional women’s basketball team in Canada. It would mean unquantifiable things not only for the growth of the game, but for the youth of the country as well.
Bridget Carleton, a former Iowa State star who now plays as a winger for the Minnesota Lynx, has represented Canada’s national team at several FIBA ââtournaments.
Last month she tweeted that she was “officially started to protestâA professional women’s basketball league in Canada – one of the largest nations in the world that does not have a professional women’s league.
Professional men’s basketball continues to grow inâ¦ I have officially started to manifest a Canadian professional women’s basketball league in the near future https://t.co/PpTdYHtZtM
– Bridget Carleton (@bridgecarleton) October 27, 2021
Of course, a league would be a big step in the right direction. But first, it would be great to start having a WNBA franchise somewhere in Canada.
Alisha Tatham, who played for Canada’s National Women’s Basketball Team in the 2012 Summer Olympics, explained what such a team wanted to hear when she was growing up (via Sportsnet.ca):
âI absolutely think a WNBA team would have changed my perspective on where I could have pursued my basketball dreamsâ¦ Just being able to watch a game on the streets would have broadened my view of it. that might have been possible for me as a young girl pursuing a career in basketball.
Last month, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said, âexpansion is on the horizonAnd that the league uses a variety of metrics to “assess a variety of locations” for new markets.
If that happened, Toronto would make a lot of sense as a logical destination even though Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) and Scotiabank Arena are not affiliated.
âWe want to be able to take this opportunity to inspire a new generation of women and girls in sport. And in 20 years, when they are Olympians, they will be able to trace their success back to this team and to this moment.
The reality of the situation is that if an extension proposal were approved by the league, it wouldn’t be very difficult for Drake – who has shown his support for the WNBA in the past – to do more than just post an Instagram story in order to to bring the league to Canada.
Drake supports the WNBA ðð¼ https://t.co/W8L1TriMIt
: Instagram / WNBA pic.twitter.com/w69abTrVnv
– Republic of the Raptors (@raptorsrepublic) June 8, 2021
Beyond its obvious massive cultural influence and reach, there are fiscal reasons, it also makes sense. According to New York Times, WNBA teams generally sold for “single digit or low double digit millions“in recent years. Drake’s net worth, by Forbes, was estimated at around $ 150 million in 2019.
Perhaps, as Sean Hurd wrote a few years ago, Drake could help the team get off the ground by purchasing a partial stake (via The Undefeated):
“Why Drake? Why not? Drake has proven to be a vital asset and ambassador for the Raptors. What it brings, aside from its side fun, is its likeness as a pop culture symbol, which may appeal to a demographic the WNBA has desperately tried to attract but has had varying success to achieve. .
Drake has already shown his willingness to spend on sports franchises by purchasing the naming rights to the Raptors’ training center, which was renamed OVO Athletic Center in 2019.
While the common joke is that Drake is considered a bit of a bandwagon fanSo rooting for a franchise with a few supportive social media posts before it’s even created is a great way to nurture a team later without anyone accusing you of being in the lead.
But building the team, even as a minority investor, is the most authentic way to prove you’re there for the long haul.