Toronto has been awarded the WNBA’s first franchise outside the United States, with the expansion team set to begin play in 2026. Ahead of the official announcement Thursday, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert told The Associated Press: “The thing I love about going to another country is that the young girls and boys get to see professional basketball for women is important, too.” The team will be owned by Larry Tanenbaum-led Kilmer Sports Ventures. Tanenbaum also is the chairman and a minority owner of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns several Toronto sports franchises, including the NBA’s Raptors and NHL’s Maple Leafs. Toronto will be the WNBA’s 14th franchise, with Golden State set to start play next year. Toronto will play at 8,700-seat Coca-Cola Coliseum.