The National Women’s Basketball Association announced on Thursday that it would be hosting its first-ever women’s championship game in 2021.
The announcement comes just two months after the NBA announced it would expand to 22 teams, which will be in their 12th year.
WNBA commissioner Tamika Catchings said in a statement: “We are thrilled to bring our championship game to the women’s arena, where we know we can create the best experience for our fans and all of our partners.
We are committed to building a championship atmosphere and building a sustainable program to ensure that we provide the best environment for our women.”
The first game will be played in 2021, but no date has been set.
On Friday, the league announced it had finalized a deal with NBC for the 2019-2020 season.
“This is an exciting moment for women’s basketball, and for the sport,” Catchings told reporters.
But it’s also been an extremely challenging year for women.
In February, two of the four women in the NBA drafted in the 2018 draft went down with injuries.
Three months later, a high-profile arrest by a New York City police officer resulted in the resignation of NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who had not been involved in the arrest.
Earlier this year, the NFL announced it was adding a women’s game in 2020.
NBA players have also been accused of sexual harassment.
Catchings said the league was looking to add an event to the schedule to allow players and their families to experience “the greatest sport on the planet” without any of the scrutiny or backlash that comes with it.
More to come on this story as it becomes available.