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  #21  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 4:43 PM
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Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
It's fine. I respect your opinion, but this is one area we'll likely not see eye to eye on.

From what I've read regarding Brampton and Mississauga, both organizations found it tough sledding. Brampton couldn't make a go of it despite having 550,000 people to draw from and moved to greener pastures in North Bay of all places. Mississauga has 800,000 so their attendance issues are pitiful, imo. It's under 3,000/game. 3,000!

Perhaps we have totally different ideas about what constitutes good support, but neither of these teams were ever close to being well supported. It says a lot when places like Charlottetown can support CHL and Brampton can not. The GTA should be able to support 20 CHL teams each drawing 5,000+.
The Brampton franchise was flawed from the beginning. The arena is in a shitty location and has terrible accesibility. Not to mention it's all about demographics. There's a reason Brampton is nicknamed "Bramladesh"... hockey was never going to work there. North Bay had a former Junior team so the fanbase was already there, like moving a team from Atlanta to Winnipeg.

Mississauga has had its days where it was very well attended, it's in a down period.

As for how Charlottetown and the Maritimes can support these teams better... How about because there aren't many other options? The only show in town is the Junior team (or AHL team in St. John's). Toronto has an NHL team, an NBA team, an MLB team, a CFL team, an MLS team, an NLL team, an AHL team, numerous junior teams, etc. Saying Toronto should be able to support 20 Junior teams is ignoring any and all human geography factors other than sheer population. By that logic Montreal should have more than an NHL team, an MLS team and a suburban Junior team. Does that make it a terrible market? How about Vancouver with an NHL team, a CFL team, a failed NBA team and a Junior team? Calgary with an NHL team, a CFL team and one Junior team? I can keep going etc. etc.
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  #22  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 5:02 PM
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Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
If Halifax is a frontier town (founded in 1749), what does that make Toronto, Winnipeg, or Vancouver?
I think you are missing my tongue-in-cheek sarcasm. Did you not read my snarky comment on equalization payments (re: Quebec)?
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  #23  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 8:02 PM
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Originally Posted by saffronleaf View Post
New York? You really have to live there for a little while to realize how little hockey matters. They never talk about the Rangers, Islanders or Devils on the sports radio channels. The old joke in NYC is that there are 18,000 hockey fans in Manhattan -- i.e., the ones that are in MSG.
I agree completely. In my travels to NYC it is clear that the local teams that are topics of water-cooler conversation are the Giants and Yankees, followed closely by the Jets, Mets and Knicks. The Rangers and the Nets are in the middle, followed by the teams on the periphery that barely register in the mainstream consciousness like the Islanders, the Devils, Red Bull and St. John's.

Even though it's an original 6 market, hockey is just not a big deal in NYC. In some ways it's a crazy fluke that they even ended up with 3 NHL teams. I know the Islanders exist only because the NHL wanted to keep the WHA out of the then-new Nassau Coliseum in the 70s.
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  #24  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 8:32 PM
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Originally Posted by esquire View Post
I agree completely. In my travels to NYC it is clear that the local teams that are topics of water-cooler conversation are the Giants and Yankees, followed closely by the Jets, Mets and Knicks. The Rangers and the Nets are in the middle, followed by the teams on the periphery that barely register in the mainstream consciousness like the Islanders, the Devils, Red Bull and St. John's.

Even though it's an original 6 market, hockey is just not a big deal in NYC. In some ways it's a crazy fluke that they even ended up with 3 NHL teams. I know the Islanders exist only because the NHL wanted to keep the WHA out of the then-new Nassau Coliseum in the 70s.
And lets not forget NJ's never-ending financial issues.

Hockey is about as niche and non-mainstream in the US as it gets. At least among 20-somethings, I feel like soccer (especially EPL and MLS) combined are a bit more popular. And that says something.

Toronto is the NHL's most valuable franchise -- valued at about $1 billion; approximately twice the value of the Montreal Canadiens. Toronto has the world's largest and best development league (GTHL). Southern Ontario produces more players than any other province or state. Toronto produces more players than any other city in the world.

Obviously, if you carve out some ethnic enclave, you can point to it and say, HA! No hockey fandom there. But even then, Toronto is a lot like Vancouver in that many South Asians and East Asians, especially of second generation, follow the Leafs avidly. Although many will also follow, for example, the Raptors.

There are dozens of examples of Toronto not adopting something because it is not international enough, or adopting something because it is international. Hockey is not an example of that. Hockey is very domestic. As someone living in the US, hockey is definitely small potatoes here.
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  #25  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 8:39 PM
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^ I don't think it's much of a stretch to say that the Toronto Maple Leafs are essentially the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the NHL. In other words, a very, very enthusiastic hotbed of fan support despite the fact that virtually all other markets are more lukewarm.

There's a reason that Forbes values the Leafs at $1 billion with the next two teams being worth significantly less (NY Rangers, $750M; Montreal, $575M). Once you get beyond those 3 big-money teams, the range for the remaining 27 teams plummets to a comparatively meager $130M-$350M.
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  #26  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 8:50 PM
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The news isn't all bad regarding the United States and hockey. The percentage of American born players has slowly increased to about 24% (http://www.quanthockey.com/TS/TS_Pla...ionalities.php). And the NHL has seen a massive revenue increase under Bettman.
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  #27  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 9:06 PM
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Hockey in the US is a marginal, niche sport at best - but those who are into it LOVE it to a degree that puts most Canadians to shame.

In Canada, "everyone is a hockey fan". But most people I know are casual fans at best. It's our religion and national obsession, but only in the same sense that "everyone is a Christian" in places where most people are the C&E type at best.

Americans that I meet who are into hockey seem to be more knowledgeable and more passionate than most Canadian fans, by a long shot. It's very weird. I can parrot an earlier comment that whenever anyone finds out I'm Canadian, the conversation turns to nothing but hockey talk. It helps that because players aren't generally treated as celebrities, they're far more approachable down south. So I hear a lot of stories of people going out for beers with pretty big name stars, things like that. Stuff that almost never happens here. Sure, a friend of a friend of a cousin once saw Iginla at the local Co-op picking up some milk, but for the most part our players need to keep a much lower profile.

Of course the problem in the US is that in most markets, there simply aren't enough fans overall. But an individual fan is a FAN in the truest sense of the word.
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  #28  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 11:28 PM
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Don't forget about the WNBA.
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  #29  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Architect View Post
The Brampton franchise was flawed from the beginning. The arena is in a shitty location and has terrible accesibility. Not to mention it's all about demographics. There's a reason Brampton is nicknamed "Bramladesh"... hockey was never going to work there. North Bay had a former Junior team so the fanbase was already there, like moving a team from Atlanta to Winnipeg.

Mississauga has had its days where it was very well attended, it's in a down period.

As for how Charlottetown and the Maritimes can support these teams better... How about because there aren't many other options? The only show in town is the Junior team (or AHL team in St. John's). Toronto has an NHL team, an NBA team, an MLB team, a CFL team, an MLS team, an NLL team, an AHL team, numerous junior teams, etc. Saying Toronto should be able to support 20 Junior teams is ignoring any and all human geography factors other than sheer population. By that logic Montreal should have more than an NHL team, an MLS team and a suburban Junior team. Does that make it a terrible market? How about Vancouver with an NHL team, a CFL team, a failed NBA team and a Junior team? Calgary with an NHL team, a CFL team and one Junior team? I can keep going etc. etc.
You forgot Vancouver's MLS team. A small point in such a large post but I had to mention it.
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  #30  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2013, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by esquire View Post
^ I don't think it's much of a stretch to say that the Toronto Maple Leafs are essentially the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the NHL. In other words, a very, very enthusiastic hotbed of fan support despite the fact that virtually all other markets are more lukewarm.

There's a reason that Forbes values the Leafs at $1 billion with the next two teams being worth significantly less (NY Rangers, $750M; Montreal, $575M). Once you get beyond those 3 big-money teams, the range for the remaining 27 teams plummets to a comparatively meager $130M-$350M.
And the Rangers are only big because of the population of NYC. The Rangers have a proportionally small fanbase in NYC. It's just that even a tiny fraction of NY's population, combined with the corporate support available there, will result in massive revenues.
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  #31  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2013, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Barnard's Star View Post
The news isn't all bad regarding the United States and hockey. The percentage of American born players has slowly increased to about 24% (http://www.quanthockey.com/TS/TS_Pla...ionalities.php). And the NHL has seen a massive revenue increase under Bettman.
It's growing.

I just don't think that Leafs fandom or hockey's popularity in Toronto can be classified in the category of 'things Torontonians like because foreigners like it.'
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  #32  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2013, 1:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Denscity View Post
You forgot Vancouver's MLS team. A small point in such a large post but I had to mention it.
Right my bad, I forgot Vancouver's MLS team and Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton's NLL teams.
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  #33  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2013, 3:46 PM
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Right my bad, I forgot Vancouver's MLS team and Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton's NLL teams.
Since we're piling on, there's also Montreal's CFL team, and Edmonton and Calgary's junior football teams (in Edmonton's case, 2 teams).
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  #34  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2013, 5:31 PM
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Of course the problem in the US is that in most markets, there simply aren't enough fans overall.
I would argue that Americans are the biggest sports fans in the world. They're joiners and cheerers. They invented cheerleaders, after all. The fact that there are NHL teams in the south and southwest and California is testament to this, because there's no real reason for hockey to exist there otherwise. You want to put a hockey team in Dallas? Sure, why the hell not!

The major cities not only have four or five pro teams, but they also have massive college football and basketball support for one, two or more teams in addition to that. Not to mention the other college sports that put ours to shame (not that I necessarily think that big-time college sports dominating what is supposed to be an intellectual academy is a good thing).

Toronto has the "big four" sports, but then you go down the road to Detroit, and not only do they have those, but they have 100,000 fans attending football games at U. of Michigan. And several other smaller universities nearby also have followings that dwarf what the U. of Toronto gets.

The U.S. is sports mad. We're hockey mad. Two very different things.
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  #35  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2013, 6:29 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Architect View Post
The Brampton franchise was flawed from the beginning. The arena is in a shitty location and has terrible accesibility. Not to mention it's all about demographics. There's a reason Brampton is nicknamed "Bramladesh"... hockey was never going to work there. North Bay had a former Junior team so the fanbase was already there, like moving a team from Atlanta to Winnipeg.

Mississauga has had its days where it was very well attended, it's in a down period.

As for how Charlottetown and the Maritimes can support these teams better... How about because there aren't many other options? The only show in town is the Junior team (or AHL team in St. John's). Toronto has an NHL team, an NBA team, an MLB team, a CFL team, an MLS team, an NLL team, an AHL team, numerous junior teams, etc. Saying Toronto should be able to support 20 Junior teams is ignoring any and all human geography factors other than sheer population. By that logic Montreal should have more than an NHL team, an MLS team and a suburban Junior team. Does that make it a terrible market? How about Vancouver with an NHL team, a CFL team, a failed NBA team and a Junior team? Calgary with an NHL team, a CFL team and one Junior team? I can keep going etc. etc.
One can talk about every extenuating circumstance in the book or slice it 1000 different ways, but it doesn't change the fact that the Leafs are the only hockey team that's well supported. And comparing Toronto to other cities doesn't change the reality either. If 100,000 Torontonians attended CHL/NHL each weekend that would constitute good support. The Leafs at 19,000 and Mississauga bringing in 3,000 does not.

All I hear are reasons why attendance is POOR. That doesn't mean it's good, now does it? All you're showcasing is that poor support for sports isn't just a Toronto issue.
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  #36  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2013, 6:32 PM
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One can talk about every extenuating circumstance in the book or slice it 1000 different ways, but it doesn't change the fact that the Leafs are the only hockey team that's well supported.
I just showed that is incorrect.

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The Leafs at 19,000 and Mississauga bringing in 3,000 does not.
Kinda hard to get more than the capacity of your arena... Did you watch any of the playoffs with thousands of Leafs fans outside the ACC?
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  #37  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2013, 6:33 PM
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but they have 100,000 fans attending football games at U. of Michigan. And several other smaller universities nearby also have followings that dwarf what the U. of Toronto gets.
You cannot compare the NCAA and CIS. You just can't.
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  #38  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2013, 7:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
I would argue that Americans are the biggest sports fans in the world. They're joiners and cheerers. They invented cheerleaders, after all. The fact that there are NHL teams in the south and southwest and California is testament to this, because there's no real reason for hockey to exist there otherwise. You want to put a hockey team in Dallas? Sure, why the hell not!

The major cities not only have four or five pro teams, but they also have massive college football and basketball support for one, two or more teams in addition to that. Not to mention the other college sports that put ours to shame (not that I necessarily think that big-time college sports dominating what is supposed to be an intellectual academy is a good thing).

Toronto has the "big four" sports, but then you go down the road to Detroit, and not only do they have those, but they have 100,000 fans attending football games at U. of Michigan. And several other smaller universities nearby also have followings that dwarf what the U. of Toronto gets.

The U.S. is sports mad. We're hockey mad. Two very different things.
Yeah - my phrasing should have been "not enough hockey fans".
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  #39  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2013, 8:23 PM
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You cannot compare the NCAA and CIS. You just can't.
You can't compare them precisely because of the rest of Rousseau's reasoning. The US is a sports-mad country, so in many ways their Colleges developed into sports training grounds and academics sometimes seems to take a back seat or becomes a bit secondary. In Canadian Universities, academics have always been and will always be the focus, and sports are just generally something on the side (especially in comparison to the States).
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  #40  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2013, 9:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
I would argue that Americans are the biggest sports fans in the world. They're joiners and cheerers. They invented cheerleaders, after all. The fact that there are NHL teams in the south and southwest and California is testament to this, because there's no real reason for hockey to exist there otherwise. You want to put a hockey team in Dallas? Sure, why the hell not!

The major cities not only have four or five pro teams, but they also have massive college football and basketball support for one, two or more teams in addition to that. Not to mention the other college sports that put ours to shame (not that I necessarily think that big-time college sports dominating what is supposed to be an intellectual academy is a good thing).

Toronto has the "big four" sports, but then you go down the road to Detroit, and not only do they have those, but they have 100,000 fans attending football games at U. of Michigan. And several other smaller universities nearby also have followings that dwarf what the U. of Toronto gets.

The U.S. is sports mad. We're hockey mad. Two very different things.
Well... As someone living in the US, I feel like football occupies a similar position in America that hockey does in Canada. Football coverage dominates everything. Football TV ratings are higher in most markets than the combined average ratings for basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer.

I think it's just that when you have a massive population -- the third largest population in the world that continues to grow rapidly for Western standards -- even niche sports, like hockey, soccer, and basketball (which is somewhat non-mainstream compared to football and baseball) will get fans.

With Canada's tiny population, it's harder for the niche sports to flourish.

But I do agree that in a general sense, Americans love their sports. But football comes first and foremost.
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