The Greater Toronto metro area (GTA), also known as the Golden Horseshoe, has entered the exclusive clique of cities with NHL/NBA-ready arenas and no anchor tenant.
That’s quite a list. If those four cities replaced, say Miami, Nashville, Columbus and Phoenix in the NHL would anyone even think twice about whether the league belonged in those cities?
The city of Markham, Ont is entering the mix. As PuckDaddy points out, the building is in the preliminary stages of development and Bauer CEO Grant Roustan is behind it.
Why wouldn’t Toronto have a second team? Toronto is a metro area of eight million people. Both LA NBA teams drew 19,000 per game. The Mets draw 28,000+ while the Yankees draw 43,000+. Both LA baseball teams draw 37,000+. Both Chicago…oh, never mind, the Sox don’t draw.
Is there any doubt the Toronto Toros (that’s my choice) would sell out every game at a ticket price of, most likely, $100CDN per ticket per game?
Why does this matter?
Well, the NHL and NHLPA are locked in a bitter fight over the next collective bargaining agreement. One of the sticking points is that the NHLPA believes the NHL’s revenues will continue to grow — at at least a 7% clip. The NHL dismisses that notion as completely out of touch with the current economic climate.
Yet, if the GTA attracted an NHL team to play in this $324M facility, the NHL would generate more revenue than if they had a franchise in, say, Miami, FLA. Don’t you think the NHL would generate more revenue if they had an ownership group like Grant Roustan?
You see, the problem is the NHL isn’t interested in making more money. The NHL leadership is more interested in protecting their exclusive cartel then they are interested in finding ways to generate more revenue.
The Canadian TV rights are up for bid in 2014. Don’t you think the NHL could command a greater price for those rights if there were two teams in the GTA rather than just the dreaded Maple Loafs?* Throw in a team in Quebec and a team in Seattle (which I would guess would draw some Southern BC fans) and you’ve got a nice bargaining chip in TV rights negotiations.
All this means that KC, with a great arena but no ownership group interested in bringing a team here, continues to tumble down the list.
Can we cut our losses and bring in the AHL, please?
*I’m from Buffalo…can’t stand the Leafs and I’m loving this KCRoyals-like futility they’ve had the last few seasons.