Noted fishwrapper/parakeet cage liner the Toronto Star has news today that is guaranteed to fan the already raging nationalistic fire that burns so brightly among many about the state of professional hockey. According to the Star, a report published today by the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation at the University of Toronto argues that the league “should focus on bolstering the game in Canada where demand is greatest”.
Canada’s six teams account for nearly one-third of league revenue. Most of those loonies end up in the United States, which has 24 teams, through revenue sharing.
The report, titled “The New Economics of the NHL,” uses potential gate revenue as a measure of economic success. It looks at 10 Canadian cities and ranks each as a potential host for an NHL team, based on size, wealth, geographic location and other factors.
There are six Canadian markets where a new NHL team would thrive, the report found, citing Greater Toronto as the best one.
In fact, with 9 million people, the larger Golden Horseshoe could successfully support as many as three NHL teams. The study found that another team would be successful in Hamilton, London or Kitchener-Waterloo.
Montreal and Vancouver also have enough demand, as do Winnipeg and Quebec City. Teams in any of those cities would generate higher gate revenues than the average U.S. Sun Belt team.
DISCLAIMER: I haven’t read the report. It follows, then, that in reacting to this news, I am relying heavily upon the Star to have accurately summarized the content of the report in question. I am well aware that there is little compelling evidence to suggest that such reliance is warranted.