WNBA Will OFFICIALLY Expand To Toronto

WHN | May 23, 2024

TORONTO – The WNBA officially announced Thursday that it would be taking an expansion team to Canada set to begin…

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TORONTO – The WNBA officially announced Thursday that it would be taking an expansion team to Canada set to begin play in the 2026 season. The team, which will be based in Toronto, is the league’s first team outside of the U.S. 

The team will be owned and operated by Larry Tanenbaum, the Chairman of Kilmer Sports Ventures. Tanenbaum is the chairman and minority owner of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, owner of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and the NBA’s Toronto Raptors along with Toronto’s MLS team, the Toronto FC.

“Bringing a WNBA team to Toronto represents an important milestone for our league as we continue to expand both domestically and outside the United States,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a press release.  “With Larry Tanenbaum’s distinguished record of leading successful sports franchises and Toronto’s appeal as a dynamic, diverse city that cares deeply about the game of basketball, we are confident that this new team will thrive as a first-class WNBA organization and become a great source of inspiration and support for the Toronto-area community and across Canada.”

With the official announcement of the Golden State Valkyries in late 2023, the Toronto addition will be the 14th WNBA team and the second expansion team in as many years. 

The team will play games at the Coca-Cola Coliseum in Toronto. The Arena was built in 1921 and will accommodate a crowd of 8,700. The arena is also the current home of the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. If needed, additional games will be played at the 19,800-capacity Scotiabank Arena.

Tanenbaum said the team will play some games in Vancouver and Montreal to further spread passion and pride for the sport and the team from coast to coast. 

With the league growing rapidly following the addition of this year’s rookie class, Engelbert has committed to bringing more teams to the WNBA in the coming years, making the WNBA more accessible to a greater number of fans.

“We’ve already had a lot of interest and it got more tangible and serious from a fair amount of cities after the draft,” Engelbert said. “We are in a good position to get to 16 by certainly ’27-28.”

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