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Toronto WNBA team arrives at ‘critical moment in history’ for women’s sports: expert

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Experts say the entrance of a professional women’s basketball team to the Toronto sports landscape creates new opportunities to capitalize on long pent-up demand from local fans.


The WNBA announced Thursday that Toronto’s new team — the first in Canada — will tip off in 2026, playing its home games at the 8,700-seat Coca-Cola Coliseum.


Tandy Thomas, a marketing professor at Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business, says the team’s establishment comes at a “critical moment in history” for the growth of women’s sports.


She says local audiences have proven they’re interested in watching the recently launched Professional Women’s Hockey League or cheering on the Canadian women’s soccer team, while the mania surrounding WNBA rookie Caitlyn Clark has helped fill arenas south of the border.


While Toronto boasts a somewhat crowded market of professional sports teams, Thomas says the WNBA will likely find its footing by offering more affordable ticket options than squads like the Maple Leafs or Raptors.


The team will have the ability to move to the Scotiabank Arena on occasion and will also make stops in both Montreal and Vancouver for home games in an effort to boost its national appeal.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 23, 2024

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