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WNBA adding Toronto expansion team in 2026: Reports



WNBA adding Toronto expansion team in 2026: Reports

The WNBA is going international.

The league is adding an expansion franchise in Toronto that will begin play in 2026, according to multiple reports. The Toronto team will become the WNBA’s 14th franchise, as a Golden State expansion franchise in San Francisco is set to join the league in 2025.

Kilmer Sports Venture, which is headed by Toronto billionaire Larry Tanenbaum, will own the team. Tanenbaum is a minority chairman of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns the NHL’s Maple Leafs and NBA’s Raptors, among other teams.

The Toronto team reportedly will play at Coca-Cola Coliseum. The 8,000-seat stadium is currently home to the AHL’s Marlie’s and PWHL’s Toronto franchise.

CBC Sports, which first reported the news of the Toronto expansion team, reported that an official announcement is expected May 23. The WNBA has not yet confirmed the news.

“We continue to engage in productive conversations with interested ownership groups in a number of markets and the granting of any expansion teams requires a vote of the WNBA and NBA Board of Governors,” the league said, via The Associated Press.

When did the WNBA last play in Canada?

Canada has already gotten a taste of the WNBA.

The country hosted a preseason game each of the last two years. A sold-out showcase between the Chicago Sky and Minnesota Lynx was held at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena in 2023 and a packed contest between the Los Angeles Sparks and Seattle Storm took place at Rogers Place in Edmonton on May 4.

What are the WNBA’s future expansion plans?

WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in April that the hope was for the league to expand to 16 teams by 2028.

Engelbert identified Philadelphia, Denver, Nashville, South Florida and Portland, Oregon, as possible destinations for WNBA franchises after San Francisco and Toronto. The Athletic reported that Charlotte is another city under consideration.

Where are the 12 WNBA teams located?

The following cities have WNBA franchises in them, as of 2024:

  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Indianapolis
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Minneapolis
  • New York
  • Phoenix
  • Seattle
  • Uncasville, Connecticut (home of the Connecticut Sun)
  • Washington, D.C.
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