Toronto Lands Historic WNBA Expansion Team, per Report

Apr 15, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert speaks before the 2024 WNBA Draft
Apr 15, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert speaks before the 2024 WNBA Draft / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto has been awarded a WNBA franchise beginning play in 2026, according to a report from CBC in Canada.

The Kilmer Sports Group, led by Toronto billionaire Larry Tanenbaum, will be the group heading up the WNBA's expansion to a 14th team north of the border. An official announcement is expected on May 23.

The 79-year-old Tanenbaum is a minority owner and chairman of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment. The company owns stakes in the Maple Leafs, Marlies, Raptors, TFC and Argos.

The 12-team WNBA will expand to 13 in 2025 with the addition of a Golden State women's basketball franchise in San Francisco. Toronto's team will be the second expansion in as many seasons, and with the boom in popularity of women's basketball of late, it would not be a surprise to see the league continue to expand.

Preliminary plans for Toronto's new women's basketball plans are set to have the franchise play at the Coca-Cola Coliseum, which is an 8,000-seat arena that is home to the Marlies and Toronto's women's hockey team.


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Mike McDaniel

MIKE MCDANIEL

Mike McDaniel is a writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated, where he has worked since January 2022. His work has been featured at InsideTheACC.com, SB Nation, FanSided, and more. Mike hosts the Hokie Hangover Podcast, covering Virginia Tech athletics, as well as Basketball Conference: The ACC Football Podcast. Outside of his professional life, he is a husband, father, and an avid golfer.