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'Just wait': Toronto mayor hints that WNBA team is coming to the city amid multiple reports

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Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow says that she is hopeful an announcement could be made soon amid multiple reports that a WNBA team is coming to Toronto in 2026.

A Toronto expansion would mark the first Canadian team in the women's professional basketball league.

“Wait for it. Yes, I do know,” Chow said when asked about the speculation during an interview with CP24 on Friday. "Hopefully there will be good news soon. Just wait.”

In March, multiple reports suggested that Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment chairman Larry Tanenbaum was pursuing a franchise through his separate holding company Kilmer Group.

CTV News did reach out to the Kilmer Group for comment on Friday but was told by a spokesperson that there was “no update at this time.”

A Toronto WNBA franchise would be the league’s 14th team after an expansion into California’s Bay Area via the Golden State Warriors in October. That team is scheduled to start playing next year.

Back in 2023, the WNBA hosted a sold out pre-season game at Scotiabank Arena. At that time, Commissioner Cathy Engelbert had teased that Toronto could potentially host a team in the future.

In an statement issued to CTV News Toronto on Friday, the WNBA remained tight-lipped on the reported expansion.

“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,” a spokesperson for the league said.

Raptors star Scottie Barnes did take to Instagram to share a report about the WNBA’s potential arrival in Toronto on Friday. In the post, Barnes said “Let’s goooo!”

Speaking to CP24, TSN’s Kayla Grey said the introduction of a WNBA team in Toronto is not only good for business, but also for representation.

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

“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.”

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