Odds Of Next WNBA Expansion Franchises

Odds Of Next WNBA Expansion Franchises
By Christopher Boan
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Editor's Note: This story updated March 7, 2024.

We already know that the WNBA will add a 13th team next year; the Golden State Warriors’ ownership group was awarded an expansion franchise for the 2025 league year. That announcement came in October and the Bay Area will host the first new team in the league since 2008.

The question now becomes whether longtime commissioner Cathy Engelbert will strike while the iron’s hot and add even more franchise to the league, which tips off its 28th season in May.

One market that has long been brought up in the WNBA expansion game – and would generate more interest in the league at Ontario betting sites – is Toronto. The CBC reported this week that billionaire Larry Tanenbaum (a current minority partner in Maple Leaf Sports, which owns the city’s other pro franchises) is looking to bring women’s basketball to Canada for the first time.

The future of a possible 14th WNBA franchise has become a hot-button topic, as the planned city for such a franchise (Portland, Oregon) saw its bid fall through because of issues surrounding the team’s arena.

Now, Portland’s loss is possibly Toronto’s gain. Tanenbaum and his team at the Kilmer Group seek a move into the fast-growing league. If granted, it would be the first pro women’s team in Toronto for a sport that already draws huge interest with Ontario sports betting apps.

Engelbert has already gone on the record discussing her desire to add a 14th club for the 2025 league year. That puts extra impetus on the league to figure out a way to get another city in line before next season tips off.

With that in mind, OntarioBets.com broke down the odds on whether Toronto will be the next North American city to call the WNBA home. A few other markets in the United States have their eye on the league as well. These odds, which are exclusive to OntarioBets.com, have been updated since we originally published them in October 2023.

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Next WNBA Franchise Odds

City Odds Pct. Chance
Philadelphia +150 40%
Toronto +400 20%
Denver +600 14.3%
Nashville +1250 7.4%
Portland +1900 5%
Other +900 10%

Can Toronto Earn WNBA Expansion Franchise?

As for the upcoming season, the Las Vegas Aces are the +115 favorite at BetMGM Ontario Sportsbook to win the 2024 WNBA title, which would be their third in a row.

Given the price tag that the Warriors ownership group paid (a WNBA record $50 million American dollars) to land the league’s 13th team, it’s going to take some serious cash to come out ahead in the race for the next round of expansion.

The issue is that Tanenbaum, unlike the group that’s trying to bring WNBA basketball to Philadelphia, is not a majority owner of an NBA club. That could hamper his ability to elbow Toronto’s way atop the list for an expansion club whenever Engelbert pulls the trigger on such a move.

Right now, it seems crystal clear that Engelbert, along with WNBA leadership at large, is ready to rock and roll with 14 teams by the start of the 2025 season. That means cities with established financial backing are likely to be atop the list of destinations.

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WNBA Envisions More Expansion

“Our goal is to have a 14th team by 2025 as well,” Engelbert said when announcing the league’s San Francisco expansion, per The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I’ve been traveling (to) different cities, and we’re in discussions — continued discussions, productive conversations, with several other cities.”

It remains to be seen whether having the Sixers co-owner invested in a potential WNBA team makes the City of Brotherly Love a sure thing. But it’s likely to give the city a leg up over an outsider like Tanenbaum.

Right now, what we know is that the WNBA is primed to expand its fan base with a star-studded rookie class incoming in 2024, headlined by Iowa guard Caitlin Clark, Stanford’s Cameron Brink and Paige Bueckers of UConn.

Given that surge of talent and TV interest, it’s a no-brainer that major cities like Toronto want to get in line to land a WNBA franchise as soon as possible. But Engelbert has shown she favors attention to detail over splash moves when it comes to expanding the league’s current 12-team structure.

Stay tuned for the next set of developments as well as Ontario online casinos reviews at OntarioBets.com.



Christopher Boan is a writer at OntarioBets.com. He's covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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