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11-06-2012, 04:00 PM
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The way I see it, is that UNTIL a new team does arrive, nobody is going to admit that they would switch allegiences. Why risk getting painted as a non-loyal fan for saying support for some hypothetical future franchise?

I'm not from Toronto. I actually currently live here (been here 1 year), but grew up in Ottawa. I've been a Leafs fan since I was ~4 years old. I don't think I will end up settling down in the GTA, I will likely move back to Ottawa.

But for those people who DO live in the GTA, especially in the York/Markham/Vaughn/etc region. I could see reasons for switching teams.
1 - It's a business. The Toronto Maple Leafs are part of a mega-corporation. They don't really care about their fans, they care about their fans money. Nostalgia and historic moments? Those are products they use to help sell the team to the fans.
2 - Ease of access to the new arena. You want to get all the way downtown and back? Or to an arena a reasonably short drive away in the suburbs? It would be your "local" team.
3 - Cost of tickets / accessibility of tickets. I'm sure the tickets would still be pricey, but not AS pricey as Leaf tickets. They would also have seasons tickets for sale, which there's a ridiculous waiting list for right now for the Leafs
4 - If you have small kids. Maybe they grow up as Markham fans, so you consider switching loyalty for them.
5 - Toronto has sucked for years. Maybe the team that moves into Markham is a relocation team that's already a playoff team? Has more players you like? Etc

There are probably a few other reasons. But I have two main points:
1 - I won't switch allegiances, because most of the points I made refer to direct benefits you would get from being somebody living in the GTA. I plan on moving away within ~1-3 years, so it shouldn't apply to me.
2 - Nobody is going to admit at the moment that they would switch allegiances. But people obviously will, there's no question about that. I think most people would stay Leafs fans, but a new GTA team WOULD get fans, and probably a pretty strong following (relatively speaking to the rest of the league, not compared to the Leafs).

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