Toronto becomes latest city to gain a WNBA team

credit: Shutterstock
credit: Shutterstock

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) continues to grow after it was announced late last week that Toronto will become the latest city to gain its own team. 

The new Toronto WNBA team will begin playing in the 2026 season and become the first Canadian and non-US team to compete in the league. The squad will also become the WNBA’s 14th franchise. 

The Toronto team will be owned and operated by Kilmer Sports Ventures, with Larry Tanebaum as its Chairman. Tanebaum has vast sports executive experience, serving as Chairman of the NBA Board of Governors and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, helping to guide the Toronto Raptors to its first-ever NBA Championship in 2019. 

Tanebaum commented on the announcement, stating: “Today is a game-changing day not only for women’s basketball but also for sports in Canada. 

“This franchise will be Canada’s team, and we are so excited to unite the country and inspire pride and passion in fans from coast to coast.”

Further details surrounding the new WNBA Toronto team revealed that it will play its home games at the Coca-Cola Coliseum at Exhibition Place, with a view for additional games to be played at the Scotiabank Arena, home of the Toronto Raptors. 

The team and its board have also revealed plans to build a new state-of-the-art practice facility that will be dedicated to the new team as well as community initiatives. 

WNBA Commissioner, Cathy Engelbert, added: “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. 

“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 organisation and become a great source of inspiration and support for the Toronto-area community and across Canada.”

Toronto is the latest city to gain a WNBA team in recent months, after San Francisco was approved for a franchise last October, to be named the Golden State Valkyries and set to play for its inaugural season in 2025. 

The recent expansion of teams to the WNBA is symbolic of the league’s recent growth this year. The arrival of first overall draft pick Caitlin Clark has seen Indiana Fever games reach over one million viewers on several occasions, as well as attendance figures growing also.

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