...the most overrated sports city in Canada. Now before you all jump my a$$ and hook me by my balls on the CN Tower I'd like to make the point of this thread a little more clear. This is mostly just the presentation of an observation that me and a number of friends have made over the last few weeks. This is not some fanboyish cry for attention away from the East, nor is the intent of this thread to start a flame war against competing cities in the country. This is about Toronto in a specific context, and let's try and keep it that way.
I will keep my initial points simple so that other posters can take their thoughts on the matter from there. The biggest factor I've been pondering is how Toronto seems to have a reputation as a sports mecca, and the reasonings how it even has this kind of title. From all that I've thought of, the only reasons for this seems to be the city's massive size, and the fact that it is a major North American media centre. If Toronto was not so damn huge, and still held a similar standing to sport, I cannot see it being nearly as renowned a centre for sport as it is now. In fact I think it would be severely lagging behind other major centres in Canada and the US.
Is Toronto really all that great of a hockey town? In my eyes not really. It's a great town for the Maple Leafs. Not so much for other hockey. The point was made by another member on these boards in recent days (I think in the CHL attendance thread), citing general interest and attendance figures in OHL and AHL franchises. Secondly, Toronto is not a football town. Referencing the Argonauts, Toronto is about the biggest bandwagon centre in the CFL. Even more so than Vancouver. Now consider the MLB. Toronto isn't really much of a baseball town either. For it's huge size, the city should be ashamed that it can only draw an average of 23,000 fans or so to Blue Jays' games while the team is undeniably competitive. The team seems to however, get a decent following from elsewhere in the country due to a "Canada's team" rep. Basketball on the other hand does seem to be a success story in Toronto.
Aside from support of local teams, there is also the issue of hosted events. Nothing really happens in Toronto. The city rarely hosts Grey Cups. It has made several failed attempts at attracting Olympic games. It hasn't hosted Junior Hockey championships, Briers or much of anything in the past decade. Feel free to correct me if I've made a mistake. I'm not saying that Toronto is a poor sports city. I'm saying it's grossly overated.
Some of your points may have merit, but in order for Toronto to be 'overrated', it has to be highly rated by a lot of people.
I don't think anyone in Toronto rates the city as any sort of major sports mecca. Toronto has for more to offer culturally than it does in the way of sporting events. If anything, the city is better known for it's theatre, arts, and multicultural festivals. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say that Toronto is a hotbed for sports.
Now consider the MLB. Toronto isn't really much of a baseball town either. For it's huge size, the city should be ashamed that it can only draw an average of 23,000 fans or so to Blue Jays' games while the team is undeniably competitive.
When was the last time they finished above .500?? When was the last time they finished within 5 games of the playoffs?
Is Toronto really all that great of a hockey town? In my eyes not really. It's a great town for the Maple Leafs. Not so much for other hockey. The point was made by another member on these boards in recent days (I think in the CHL attendance thread), citing general interest and attendance figures in OHL and AHL franchises. .
In a four paragraph post, you spend one paragraph actually discussing what you deem to be wrong with the Toronto sports scene.
There are a few things that I would question in your post, some have been touched on by others. I'll stick to the hockey aspect:
You do realize that the GTA has an NHL franchise, an AHL franchise, and three OHL franchises.
If you're going to compare the attedance figures of the Mississauga IceDogs and the London Knights- then yes, it pales in comparison but in London, they have the Knights and that's it (and yes I know about the Mustangs).
In Toronto, you have more options, not to mention that unlike some of the other OHL markets, 2/3 of the GTA franchises do not have a built in fanbase (i.e. a second generation 67's fan). All three of the franchises are relatively new, i.e. the three newest franchises (not including relocation).
It must be noted that while Toronto (St. Mike's Majors) are dead last in the OHL in terms of avg. attendance (900 currently) they also play in an arena that can only hold slightly over 1000.
However, I say this Toronto by the numbers is not a hockey town (and I'm talking general populus not necessarily the sports fan). With a massive influx of immigrants in recent years, it seems more of these immigrants are interested (at least initially) in basketball/soccer than hockey.