The Toronto Maple Leafs can still be the biggest hockey market in the world, despite having another team in their proximity.
When you look at what’s happening in Arizona right now, all you can do is laugh.
Why is the NHL continuing to water-down a franchise when it has so many other markets that would fill that stadium? I know that Canadian markets are only allowing minimum fans right now, but in the real-world, relocating the Arizona Coyotes to Canada makes a lot of sense.
So, why not make that Canadian city, Toronto?
Having two teams in the same area isn’t new to sports and it isn’t new to the NHL.
Just look at New York.
Within a 45 minute drive, they have three NHL franchises and they’re all doing better than the Arizona Coyotes. Not just on the ice, but financially.
The NHL is doing a disservice to it’s league, players and owners by continuing to have a team in a market that isn’t going to sell-out games. Why would you short-change revenue every single game and every season when you don’t have to?
Also, someone would pay $500M (or whatever the number is) to bring another team to Toronto, similarly to how Vegas and Seattle paid a big franchise fee to make it happen in their cities.
Another Team in Toronto Would Be Amazing
Here’s the thing about the Toronto Maple Leafs fans from Toronto.
Most of them hate-watch the team every single night. They love to talk about them choking and how they can’t win in Game 7’s, but since there isn’t another team here for them to cheer for, they root against the home-team.
If there was another team in Toronto, those people who hate-watch the Toronto Maple Leafs would instantly be fans of the new team. Let’s call that new team in Toronto, the “Toronto Coyotes” for now.
Merchandise for the Toronto Coyotes would be through the roof and that building would sell-out every night. As it currently stands, there’s about a 20,000 person waiting list for Leafs Season Tickets right now., and that’s just the waiting list!
Imagine how many people in the GTA would love Toronto Maple Leafs season tickets if they were offered them, but aren’t even on the list because they know it’s an impossibility right now.
With another team in Toronto, all of those people who wanted Leafs tickets would more than likely buy Season Tickets to the Coyotes. They’d finally have that opportunity to watch NHL hockey every night and would also get to see a few games against their favorite (or former favorite) team.
I know Toronto is considered a “Leafs city” and not an “NHL city” a lot of the time, but I promise you the building would be full every night. It may have a “LA Lakers” and “LA Clippers” type of feel, where being a Clippers fan isn’t as popular as being a Lakers fan, but both crowds would be jammed and it would create an even bigger buzz for NHL hockey in the city.
Toronto would instantly have another rival and it would make those games must-watch every night.
Also, it would be hilarious to see a new Toronto team come in and win a Stanley Cup before the Leafs because that would ruin every life-long Leafs fan and make those who hate-watch the team incredibly joyous.
Dear, NHL, please do everybody a favor and move the Coyotes out of Arizona already. Even if they don’t move another team to Toronto, make it happen because it’s disrespectful to potentially see an NHL team play in a rink that’s smaller than most OHL rinks.