Rumor: WNBA to expand into Canada as early as 2026

The WNBA could be gaining another expansion franchise, this time in Canada. In October 2023, the WNBA announced its first expansion team since 2008, when the Golden State Warriors were awarded a franchise to begin play in 2025.

Now, the league will look to add its 14th team, which will be located in Toronto, its first foreign franchise. This news was first reported by Shireen Ahmed of CBC Sports in Canada.

The league has yet to comment on the news, but it is expected to be announced on May 23 in Toronto. The team will begin play in May 2026.

“We continue to engage in productive conversations with interested ownership groups in a number of markets and the granting of any expansion teams requires a vote of the WNBA and NBA board of governors,” the league said.

The WNBA boasts a number of Canadian players, including Kia Nurse, Bridget Carleton, Laeticia Amihere, Natalie Achonwa and most recently, Aaliyah Edwards, who was drafted No. 6 overall in the 2024 WNBA draft.

CBC Sports learned that Kilmer Sports Inc., headed by Toronto billionaire Larry Tanenbaum, would own the new franchise. The team is expected to play in Coca-Cola Coliseum, an 8,000-seat arena at Toronto’s Exhibition Place.

Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire