SBD/August 24, 2012/Franchises

Study Says Canada Could Support Significant Major League Sports Expansion

Canada “appears ripe for major league sports expansion over the next two decades," according to a report from the Conference Board of Canada cited by Bruce Cheadle of the CP. Economic and demographic trends suggest that the Canada "could support three new NHL teams, the return of major league baseball to Montreal and the NBA to Vancouver, and as many as three, new Major League Soccer teams.” The study, which was released Thursday, also suggests that "by the year 2035, another seven cities could support Canadian Football League franchises.” The study “looked at population growth trends in specific markets, the effects of an aging population, the strength of the Canadian dollar, the movement of corporate head offices, and income growth to predict which cities will be able to support big-league sports.” The study found that all of Canada’s existing major league sports teams "are on a sound market footing," and suggests that Toronto "could support a second National Hockey League team, along with Quebec City and Hamilton -- bringing the Canadian total to 10.” The report said while the Expos left Montreal in ’04, the city “already possesses the basic market conditions required to support a MLB franchise and will strengthen its position over our forecast horizon” (CP, 8/23).
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