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Study: Canada could support nine NHL teams

Feb 9, 2012, 2:12 PM EDT

Canada hockey fans Getty Images

A report by the Conference Board of Canada concludes that the country could support two additional NHL franchises – one in Quebec City, another in Hamilton.

The Conference Board, which describes itself as the “foremost independent, not-for-profit applied research organization in Canada,” broke its feasibility test into four categories:

Population – minimum 750,000 (which just so happens to be the approximate head count in both Quebec City and Hamilton)

Market wealth – i.e. people have to be able to afford NHL tickets.

Personal disposable income per capita in Winnipeg in 2010 was $29,500. This put Winnipeg in 14th place among Canada’s 27 largest census metropolitan areas—but still ahead of Vancouver and Montréal, both of which are home to NHL franchises. What about Québec City and Hamilton? Québec City was ranked 10th in 2010 and Hamilton was ranked 18th—one spot better than Montréal. Therefore, based on market wealth, Québec City and Hamilton are two potential sites for NHL franchises.

(Note: I’m not sure per capita income is the appropriate figure to use in this case, since it doesn’t take into account income inequality. What’s more, Vancouver might have a lower per capita disposable income than Winnipeg, but I guarantee it has more rich people. A better measure might be median income. And I should know, as I took an introductory statistics class in university.)

Corporate presence – Neither Quebec City or Hamilton rank highly in this category, but the board says that “corporations located across the province of Quebec would likely show interest in supporting an NHL franchise in the city” and Hamilton “has the huge benefit of being located near Toronto, where 286 large corporations have their head offices.”

A Level Playing Field – “The Canadian dollar has been at or around parity with the U.S. greenback since 2007,” notes the board. “This is in sharp contrast to 2002, when the Canadian dollar bottomed out at just under US$0.62.”

Related: Columnist: Quebec City should get first crack at Coyotes

  1. travishenryskid - Feb 9, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Hamilton’s not getting a team as long as Buffalo has a team. Sorry Hamilton.

    • yettyskills - Feb 9, 2012 at 2:39 PM

      False, Buffalo and Toronto will get paid off to accept Hamilton into the league.

      • travishenryskid - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:29 PM

        They couldn’t pay Buffalo enough. Buffalo is a small market and Hamilton would be stepping all over it. Fans from Southern Ontario are very important to the Sabres. Toronto could deal with it, Buffalo would never allow it.

      • yettyskills - Feb 9, 2012 at 4:01 PM

        uh huh, when it happens you can explain to me then

        Here is a fact for you Buffalo fans, the expansion money and potential market there is more appealing to the league than anything Buffalo offers. I know you love your Sabres and Bills but fact is there is no money there and your entire market depends on Canadians cross the boarder to the tune of 20% of your teams gate and concessions.

        100% positive there will be a team in Hamilton and whatever problems the Sabres come up with with be ironed out/paid-off/forced down your throats.

      • travishenryskid - Feb 9, 2012 at 4:14 PM

        Wishful thinking yetty. The NHL already gets $ from the Hamilton market through having two teams that close by. They have no reason to dilute two markets to get $ that is already coming in. They are already part of the NHLs market, they don’t need to be added. That’s why a place like a place like Seattle makes sense. It’s untapped money. Again, sorry Hamilton, you’re out of luck.

      • yettyskills - Feb 9, 2012 at 8:33 PM

        Its amazing how the threat of Hamilton scares you Buffalo fans, us Red Wings fans have no worries. What you call wishful thinking makes me laugh. What do I care? I know FACTS while you know….nothing.

        Basille nearly had a team in Hamilton and the ONLY reason he didn’t get it is because of who he is and because the NHL wanted expansion into Hamilton, not moving a team into Hamilton, and the Sabres thoughts on the subject were an AFTERTHOUGHT.

        Now THAT’s the reality of what happened, and what is going to happen. Sorry it cares the hell out of you that you feel you need to come here and yammer based on zero facts.

  2. bensawesomeness - Feb 9, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    which 2 would you move anyway? Phoenix gets moved, then what?

    • galuple - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM

      Columbus could go. At least a team in Hamilton would sell out every game even if they played like CBJ does now because all the fans from the visiting teams would pack the building. Buffalo, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, all are pretty close by.

    • dbara43 - Feb 9, 2012 at 8:03 PM

      The Coyotes to Seattle, The Blue Jackets to Hamilton, the Islanders to Quebec. 3 teams in the NY market is killing both the Devils and Islanders. They don’t draw spit.

      And while you’re at it, how about the Hurricanes to Houston, the Preditors to Kansas City, the Lightning to Utah, and the Panthers anywhere but Florida?

      • yettyskills - Feb 9, 2012 at 8:34 PM

        No team is allowed to relocate to Hamilton, the NHL is expanding into Hamilton, not relocating.

        Seriously, how many of you actually pay attention to the league?

      • pooinyourface - Feb 10, 2012 at 1:46 AM

        Yea I bet you also knew Atlanta was purchased and moved to Winnipeg overnight before it happened right? Do yourself a favor, go to school and get a degree in journalism you fat broke Michigan rapist with too much time on your hands.

  3. sknut - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    i always thought Toronto would have a fit having a team in Hamilton not sure that Buffalo would care but yes the league would force it on them. Not sure where that second team would come from though and I hope expansion is off the table.

  4. whatswellydoing - Feb 9, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Anyone ever consider what happens if the Canadian $ goes lower? It’s not going to happen anytime soon, but it could down the line.

  5. Jeff - Feb 9, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    I don’t mind more teams in Canada. In fact, I love it. However it shouldn’t come at the loss of American teams.
    The NHL should be working to increase its footprint, not decrease it, especially in America.
    It’s a shame the NHL lost it presence in Atlanta. Don’t blame the fans either. It was the owners plain and simple.
    Atlanta has everything listed in the article. For instance it’s the ninth largest American TV audience and corporate headquarters to Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines and UPS.

    • BSpeedman - Feb 9, 2012 at 7:00 PM

      Only problem is that people in Georgia DO NOT GIVE A CRAP about hockey, it’s a football (particularly college) state. Look at the Braves and Hawks. They don’t get more than a couple thousands fans a night and generally tickets for those events are much cheaper than hockey tickets. Atlanta will never have a team, it’s not all on the owners ‘plain and simple.’ They gave it a whirl, it didn’t work, end of story.

      • dbara43 - Feb 9, 2012 at 8:05 PM

        The NHL needs to get out of the Southeast. Only Tampa draws any fans.

  6. dubblelznhell - Feb 9, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    It’s DISPOSABLE income per capita. So it wouldn’t matter if Vancouver has more rich people because in this statistic, it clearly states that Winnipeg has a higher average of disposable income. Meaning it costs less to live in Winnipeg than it does in Vancouver. Duh….

    • Jason Brough - Feb 9, 2012 at 10:41 PM

      There are more people in Vancouver that can afford NHL tickets, mostly because it’s a far bigger city. Median disposable income would be a worthwhile figure to know because averages can be skewed. What if there’s just one super rich guy with limitless disposable income and everyone else in the market has no disposable income? That’s extreme but hopefully you see my point.

  7. craigkeller - Feb 9, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    Hartford please.

  8. babar61 - Feb 9, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    I support more Canadian teams…but Hamilton? Gross.

  9. pooinyourface - Feb 10, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    Sorry girls, Islanders are staying. May not be brought to light yet, but the only American NHL team and last team in ANY sport isn’t going nowhere. :’( boohoooo

  10. pooinyourface - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Sorry girls, Islanders are staying. May not be brought to light yet, but the only American NHL team and last pro team in ANY sport to have a DYNASTY isn’t going nowheres :’( boohoooo

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