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Is the WNBA really expanding to TORONTO?


CBC Sports has exclusively learned that Kilmer Sports Inc., led by Toronto billionaire Larry Tanenbaum, has secured an expansion franchise with the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).

An electrifying announcement is on the horizon, scheduled for May 23 right here in Toronto. According to insiders, the team is set to hit the court in May 2026, promising an explosion of talent, passion, and pure basketball magic.


WNBA coming to Toronto unconfirmed

While the WNBA has yet to confirm the Toronto move, anticipation is reaching fever pitch. The league stated, “We continue to engage in productive conversations with interested ownership groups in several markets, and granting any expansion teams requires a vote of the WNBA and NBA board of governors.


Tanenbaum, known as a powerhouse in the sports world, is no stranger to success. As a minority owner and chairman of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), he has steered iconic Toronto franchises like the Maple Leafs, Raptors, TFC, Argos, and Marlies to greatness.

The Kilmer Group

Initially pursuing the expansion team through MLSE, Tanenbaum’s vision for women’s basketball was ultimately championed through his separate holding company, Kilmer Group.

Mayor Olivia Chow

The excitement is palpable, with Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow eagerly awaiting the news. “Wait for it. Yes, I do know,” Mayor Chow exclaimed in a recent interview. “Hopefully there will be good news soon. Just wait.”

For Toronto, this expansion marks a monumental moment as it becomes the first Canadian city to host a team in the prestigious women’s professional basketball league.

Tanenbaum’s Pursuit

Reports in March hinted at Tanenbaum’s pursuit, igniting hopes across the city. The WNBA’s previous one-game showcase in Toronto teased the potential, but now the city is poised for full-time WNBA action.

Back in 2023, the WNBA hosted a sold-out pre-season game at Scotiabank Arena. Commissioner Cathy Engelbert had hinted that Toronto could potentially host a team in the future, and it seems her words are ringing true.

Scottie Barnes

Despite the tight-lipped stance from the league, Toronto Raptors star Scottie Barnes couldn’t contain his excitement, sharing the news on Instagram with a resounding “Let’s goooo!”

For TSN’s Kayla Grey, the introduction of a WNBA team in Toronto is more than just about basketball—it’s about representation and empowerment.

“No longer is it going to be a conversation of ‘just a hobby,’ like this is the real deal,” Grey passionately declared.

“You can make a career out of this – a professional career out of this – as well. For young boys and girls who look at people out there [on the court] that are just excelling and performing at the levels in which they have been. I think this is going to be so inspiring and we’re going to have many more Canadian teams.”

Beyond The Court

The impact of a WNBA team in Toronto extends far beyond the basketball court. It provides an opportunity to inspire young girls and women, offering them role models and aspirations in the world of professional sports. By showcasing the talent and athleticism of female basketball players, this team can help break down stereotypes and empower women and girls to pursue their athletic dreams.

Moreover, the arrival of a WNBA team in Toronto adds to the city’s reputation as a sports destination. Toronto is already home to successful sports franchises in various leagues, and a WNBA team would further solidify its status as a global hub for sports entertainment. The prospect of hosting WNBA games in Toronto’s iconic arenas is sure to draw fans from near and far, generating excitement and revenue for the city.

Inclusive Basketball Community

One of the most compelling aspects of Toronto’s potential WNBA team is the opportunity to create a vibrant and inclusive basketball community. The team would provide a platform for diverse voices and perspectives, reflecting the multicultural fabric of Toronto itself. It would also help foster a sense of unity and pride among fans, bringing people together to support their team regardless of gender, race, or background.

With the support of fans, sponsors, and local authorities, Toronto can become a prominent force in women’s basketball. The passion and dedication of everyone involved will be crucial in making this dream a reality.

Final Thoughts

As Toronto eagerly awaits confirmation of its WNBA team, there is a sense of anticipation and hope in the air. From grassroots basketball programs to the professional ranks, the addition of a WNBA team promises to elevate women’s basketball to new heights in the city and inspire generations of athletes to come. Toronto, get ready to cheer on your new WNBA team as they take to the court and make history in the world of women’s sports.

by Myles Shane

Other articles from totimes.ca – otttimes.ca – mtltimes.ca

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