- Excellent media coverage, marketing, and hype
- HD TV
- Missing hockey due to the lockout
- Fear of losing teams
- 2002 Olympics victory, 2010 Olympics victory
- Cup runs by Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver
- Canada's upward growth; there has been a massive condo boom in most Canadian cities, and population intensification in downtowns and transit corridors, making access to arenas much easier for a greater amount of people
- Certain rule changes
- New generation of people coming out with disposable income
Originally Posted by saffronleaf
This may sound surprising to some, and for good reason. Demographics of Canada are changing; other sports are becoming established and growing, the sport was already popular, etc. But whatever bearing those factors may have on hockey, both hockey and the NHL have become considerably more popular in Canada.
There's still room for growth, and the NHL ought to capitalize on that.
Originally Posted by Rob
Interesting to note that when we have debates about expansion one of the reasons the pro-sun belt crowd give against more Canadian teams is that "the game cannot grow anymore in Canada."
I disagree. Saffron I think even canadians realize any league which locks out 8 (on average, circumstances or length are irrelevant) is a bit of a joke. I think at least Vcr, Toronto, Mtl sell out but the dollar drops? I think ratings in Canada will be done due to the sloppy hockey this year
The biggest reason is the rise of the Canadian dollar to par with the USD closed the gap in competition. Canadian teams could attract FAs and keep players. Also the new rules post lockout were exciting to watch and created a new generation of young fans who might otherwise find it to boring.
I don't think it has much to do with the salary cap. In fact, the last year before the lockout was probably the most successful on ice year for Canadian teams....and last year was probably the least successful for that matter. The rise in attendance was starting before that, probably 2002/2003 or so on.
I guess my point is the expectations of sellouts really were beginning before the lockout. I will add to it that hockey in general has become more popular nationwide. The Olympics and tremendous popularity of the world juniors likely helps that. Different cities across the country had their increases in interest at different times, and for different reasons likely.
In Vancouver, I would say that it was the children of the 90's asian immigrant boom hitting their 20's. Its a significant chunk of the city's population who grew up just when the Canucks were becoming more successful on ice.