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Toronto's WNBA expansion team: All you need to know, including 2026 start date, owner, arena & more

The WNBA is expanding outside the United States for the first time and on May 23 Toronto was officially announced as the league’s 14th franchise.

The announcement was made at a star-studded presentation, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Drake, and current and former Toronto Raptors players all in attendance.

Now that the franchise has been announced, read everything you need to know about Toronto’s newest sports franchise.

How did Toronto get a WNBA franchise?

Two votes took place. The WNBA board unanimously approved Toronto with a 13-0 vote.

The NBA board also approved the new franchise, with a 29-1 vote - the New York Knicks were the only NBA club to vote against the new franchise.

When will Toronto begin play?

The Toronto WNBA franchise will begin play in the 2026 season. They will become the league’s 14th team, following fellow expansion franchise Golden State.

The Valkyries, Golden State’s team, begin play in 2025.

Who owns the Toronto franchise?

The Larry Tannenbaum-led Kilmer Sports Ventures, which paid $115million, will own the new WNBA club.

Tannenbaum is the chairman and a minority owner of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns the NHL’s Maple Leafs, the NBA’s Raptors, MLS’ Toronto FC and the CFL’s Argonauts.

Where will the team play?

The Toronto franchise’s main home arena will be the 8,700-seat Coca-Cola Coliseum, a 103-year-old arena located at Exhibition Place.

The arena is home to the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies and will need to be updated for the WNBA team.

Additionally, games will be played at the 19,800-seat Scotiabank Arena. The franchise’s home debut and games against Caitlin Clark’s Indiana Fever feel like obvious candidates to be moved to the larger arena.

As Tannenbaum and Toronto’s management team wants the club to be Canada’s women’s basketball franchise, games will also be scheduled in Montreal and Vancouver in the hope of garnering national support.

What will the team’s nickname be?

With the official announcement of the team coming just weeks ago, no franchise nickname has been approved at this time.

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