NHL

City Snapshot: How Toronto stacks up

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TSN/Globe and Mail
7/8/2010 10:03:21 AM
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NHL history: Toronto Maple Leafs (1917-present)

Potential Owners: None identified.

Demographic snapshot

Metro Population:  5,700,000

Median Household income: $67,948 (Canadian Average $59,090)

Average Household disposable income: $67,221 (Canadian Average $55,541)

Average Household net worth: $531,621 (Canadian Average $351,282)

Percentage of population aged 25-39: 22.8 (Canadian Average 20 per cent)

Index for watching NHL Hockey on Television: 93 (Canadian average 100)

Economic snapshot

Number of Head offices: 919

Unemployment rate:  9.5 per cent (Canadian average 8.1)

Number of businesses with 100+ employees: 3,783

Number of businesses with $20+ million in sales: 4,921

Number of businesses with 100+ employees and $20+ million in sales: 2,322

Population rate of growth: 1.7 per cent

GDP Growth: 3.7 per cent

Retail sales: $60.8 billion

Sports Competition in market: Toronto Raptors (NBA), Toronto Blue Jays (MLB), Toronto FC (MLS), Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), Toronto Argonauts (CFL)

Arena: None.

Has Going For It: The Greater Toronto Area is the biggest, richest hockey market in the world and right now isn't coming close to being adequately served by one team. No one doubts that on a yearly cash-in, cash-out basis that a second Toronto team could be financially successful.

Has Going Against It: The Toronto Maple Leafs have served notice they believe they own the right to veto another team entering the GTA. Even if the Leafs were willing to make a deal to allow a second team, the costs of such a venture might be prohibitive. Add up the cost of an expansion or relocation fee, the expense of building a new arena and the fees to indemnify the Leafs and Buffalo Sabres and you're talking about spending close to $1 billlion dollars before a puck is dropped. As well, the NHL says it has no interest in a second Toronto franchise at this time.

What they're saying about it: "There's massive appetite for a second team in Toronto. There's about 800,000 people in the GTA right now that have NHL hockey as a passion that haven't been able to attend a hockey game in the past two years. So if there is more supply, there will definitely be great demand." – Don Mayo, Global Managing Partner, IMI International.

What Gary Bettman says:  "I have no idea. It's not anything we've looked at."

Professor Norm O'Reilly's Scorecard for Toronto

Market Attractiveness

Economy: A-

Demographics: B+

Market Size: A+

Corporate Presence: A+

Overall Score for Market Attractiveness: A+

Franchise Viability

Arena and Location: F

Competition and Barriers to Entry:  F

Potential Owner: ?

Final Grade: D-

What Professor Norm O'Reilly says: "Knowing the Toronto market and how supportive it is for hockey and how it's been growing, there's no question that a team could be viable year after year. But could you ever overcome that huge investment required up front?"

Note: O'Reilly's evaluations are based on his own background and knowledge of the subject, transcripts of interviews done by TSN/Globe and Mail for this series and data collected from various sources including Statistics Canada, the Conference Board of Canada, Environics Analytics, IMI and Harris-Decima.

Why Not Toronto? (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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