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WNBA could be expanding to Toronto, adding its first foreign franchise

A WNBA spokesperson told ESPN adding a new franchise requires a vote of the WNBA and NBA Board of Governors.
The Chicago Sky take on the Minnesota Lynx in a WNBA preseason basketball game in Toronto Saturday May 13, 2023.
Posted at 1:58 PM, May 12, 2024

The WNBA is working on plans to add a franchise team in Toronto, according to ESPN and other sources.

If made official, it would be the first WNBA team outside of the United States.

The league is also in talks for a new team in Portland, Oregon, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Both teams, if approved, would likely start playing in 2026, as first reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and The Oregonian, respectively.

According to the CBC, an official announcement on the Toronto team is expected on May 23.

A WNBA spokesperson told ESPN adding a new franchise requires a vote of the WNBA and NBA Board of Governors.

Along with the new San Francisco team slated to start playing in 2025, the potential new teams would bring the league’s total to 15.

The league has seen an increase in popularity and attention over the last few years. The viral sensation behind rookies like Caitlin Clark with Indiana Fever has forced some teams to move games to bigger arenas this season due to increased demand.

Last week it was announced the WNBA would commit $50 million to charter flights for its teams, addressing years of safety concerns over its players flying commercial.

New York Liberty basketball player Sabrina Ionescu passes through airport security

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