Skip to main content


Report: WNBA expansion to Toronto a possibility with efforts in motion

Larry Tanenbaum MLSE Larry Tanenbaum - Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (@MLSEPR)

Toronto may be getting another chance to have its own WNBA team.

According to multiple reports, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment chairman Larry Tanenbaum is in pursuit of a WNBA team for 2025 through his holding company Kilmer Group.

Kilmer Sports Venture appointed longtime European soccer executive Ivan Gazidis to lead the new organization on Tuesday. The venture will look for sports and entertainment opportunities around the world.

Gazidis has served as CEO for both AC Milan and Arsenal and was one of the founders of Major League Soccer.

"Larry Tanenbaum is one of the most important and influential leaders in the world of sports and I am honoured and excited to be working with him," Gazidis said in a release.

Both CBC and the Star have said former Raptors vice-president of basketball operations and player development, Teresa Resch, who left her post with the NBA team this week, will be a part of the initiative.

Raptors centre Kelly Olynyk believes the WNBA would be a welcome addition to Toronto's sports scene.

"It’d be a big impact. I mean, we have had a lot of success in women's basketball in Canada for a little while," Olynyk said Tuesday at the Raptors' training facility.

"I'm sure it'd be welcomed with open arms and yeah, it'd be good to see."

The Golden State Warriors were awarded a WNBA franchise for 2025 back in October, the first expansion team since 2008 and the 13th team in the league.

Scotiabank Arena played host to a sold-out WNBA pre-season game in May 2023, and at the time WNBA Commissioner Cathy Englebert said Toronto was on a shortlist of expansion cities.

However, according to reports, a potential MLSE bid for a team in Toronto was opposed by Edward Rogers, chairman of Rogers Communications.

Rogers is a part owner of MLSE.

— With files from John Chidley-Hill in Toronto and The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2024.