WNBA Expansion 2024: When will Toronto make its debut?

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WNBA Expansion 2024: When will Toronto make its debut?

As the WNBA continues to grow in popularity, it has created expansion opportunities. Along with Golden State getting a franchise, another expansion team was announced earlier this year.

The latest city to get a WNBA team is Toronto. However, the new franchise is still a ways away from making its debut. The league stated in a press release that the Toronto team will enter the mix in the 2026 season.

At this moment, no name has been chosen for the new franchise. They will be owned by Kilmer Sports Ventures. This ownership group also controls the Toronto Raptors and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Coca-Cola Coliseum in Toronto's downtown area has been chosen as the new franchise's home venue. However, the league's press release states that the team is expected to hold games across Canada.

By the time this team gets off the ground, it will be the league's 14th franchise. Another expansion team, the Golden State Valkryies, is slated to debut in 2025.

This move is a historic moment for the league and women's sports. Upon their debut, the Toronto expansion team will be the WNBA's first international franchise.

WNBA commissioner speaks on Toronto expansion team

In the league's press release for the announcement, commissioner Cathy Engelbert shared her thoughts on the expansion to Toronto. She believes this new franchise has a chance to thrive in the growing international market.

“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," Engelbert said.
"We are confident that this new team will thrive as a first-class WNBA organization and become a great source of inspiration and support for the Toronto-area community and across Canada.”

Teresa Resch has reportedly been chosen as the team's president. She has previous front-office expertise, having served as the Toronto Raptors' Vice President of Basketball Operations.

A second expansion team is a testament to the rapid growth the league has seen in recent years. Toronto might be the latest, but more are sure to follow at some point down the road.

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