Sunday, June 16, 2024

Toronto achieves major milestone with its first WNBA team outside of the United States, according to basketball news.

Toronto Awarded First WNBA Franchise Outside US, Team to Begin Play in 2026

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is expanding into Canada, with Toronto being awarded the first franchise outside the United States. The expansion team is set to begin playing in 2026, marking a significant milestone for women’s basketball in the country.

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert highlighted Toronto’s rich history of basketball and the city’s dedicated fan base. The announcement comes at a time when women’s sports, including basketball, have been gaining popularity in North America. The recent WNBA draft saw record-high viewership, with college basketball standout Caitlin Clark being selected as the first pick.

Toronto’s new WNBA team, the Golden State Valkyries, will be the league’s 14th franchise. The team is owned by Larry Tanenbaum-led Kilmer Sports Ventures, which also owns other sports franchises in the city. The team will play at the 8,700-seat Coca-Cola Coliseum, with the possibility of moving to the larger Scotiabank Arena for some games.

Tanenbaum expressed his excitement at being selected as the first franchise outside the US and emphasized the team’s commitment to building a practice facility. Until then, the players will train at the University of Toronto’s Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.

The news of Toronto’s WNBA team has been met with enthusiasm, with prominent figures like Drake, Kyle Lowry, and Masai Ujiri showing their support for the expansion team. The addition of a Canadian franchise to the WNBA signifies the continued growth and popularity of women’s basketball on an international level.

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