THN: Brampton Battalion relocation proves Toronto isn't a hockey town
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11-11-2012, 11:25 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Originally Posted by
Great, we can't even be #1 in that regard.
Outside of a few hardcore NBA cities, I don't think any town would support a team like the Raptors. The Raptors have had an abysmal existence ever since Carter left. Yet it still manages to consistently be well above the median in NBA attendance (although I think it may have dipped recently). The fact that there is still buzz about the Raptors is insane. Lots of people were awaiting Valanciunus' arrival; it was the craze on Toronto social media.
No other NHL market could ever sustain a team like the Leafs. None. Not Montreal, not NYC, and certainly not Vancouver. Not only are they hanging on, they're the highest revenue generator and they remain the most valued team in the NHL. Think of how crazy that is for a moment. Second place in valuation is the NYR, in a market of 21 million people. Yes, it's divided by 3 since there's the Devils and Isles, but you're drunk if you think there's some equal apportionment in fans among those three teams -- NYR is clearly miles ahead in fanfare and corporate support. And the NYR went to the ECF. Yet... they still cannot top the Leafs.
And yeah, you can say OHL and AHL support within the GTA is weak. Sure. But don't forget that the GTHL is the best development league in the world, producing the greatest amount of professional hockey players in the world. The craze about the GTHL is ridiculous. So if you want to be accurate, it's not that everything hockey-related below the NHL is crap in the GTA. It's that everything in between the NHL and the GTHL is crap in the GTA.
But really, what do you expect? In a massive city with so many entertainment offerings... OHL and AHL teams thrive in the smaller towns, and that's where they do best. That's also why the CFL struggles in Toronto; we have an appetite for professional sports. (Yes, CFL is professional, but barely).
Even with the MLB, what other team has the misfortune of playing in the same division as the Jays? Hell, the reason they expanded the wild card was basically for our division. Rogers had mismanaged the Jays for a really long time. Now with Bautista playing, there's definitely buzz about the Jays in the city. Toronto is probably a mediocre baseball town, in that fanfare seems more dependent on performance. If they do good, they set world records in fanfare. Although, even when they do poorly, they're never as bad as the Pirates or how the Nationals were.
I agree with Melrose that Toronto isn't a great sports city. But it's far from being garbage. I think at the very least, it's an above-average sports city that is capable of supporting teams from the Big 4 leagues. When it comes to hockey, it's the mecca. Yeah, the stuff in between the GTHL, where our kids play, and the NHL, where our pros play, may get lost in the shuffle. But the extreme success of both the GTHL and the NHL (not just success; they're the best in the world in terms of participation and fanfare) is indicative of Toronto's stature in the hockey world. The HHoF, the innumerable adult leagues, etc. only add to it.
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