Monday, June 17, 2024

Toronto Becomes First City Outside US to be Awarded WNBA Franchise; Expansion Team to Debut in 2026

Toronto Awarded WNBA Franchise, Set to Begin Play in 2026

Toronto Makes History with WNBA’s First International Franchise

In a groundbreaking move for women’s sports, Toronto has been awarded the WNBA’s first franchise outside the United States. The expansion team is set to begin play in 2026 and will be owned by Larry Tanenbaum-led Kilmer Sports Ventures.

Tanenbaum, who also owns several Toronto sports franchises including the Raptors and Maple Leafs, expressed his excitement about bringing women’s professional sports to the city. “The world is finally taking notice of something that’s been there all along — the immense talent, passion, and competition in women’s sports,” Tanenbaum said. “I saw an opportunity and knew we were in the right place at the right time to bring Canada’s first WNBA team to Toronto. And now we have, making sports history.”

The team will play at the 8,700-seat Coca-Cola Coliseum at Exhibition Place and will have the ability to move up to the Scotiabank Arena on occasion. Tanenbaum also mentioned that the team will play some games in Vancouver and Montreal.

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert highlighted the passion of Canadian fans for women’s basketball, as demonstrated by the success of the league’s exhibition games in the country. She expressed her excitement for the future of the league and expects it to expand to 16 teams by 2028.

With the establishment of Toronto’s WNBA franchise, women’s sports continue to gain momentum on a global scale. This historic move not only brings professional women’s basketball to a new audience but also showcases the talent and competitiveness of female athletes.

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