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Report: Markham arena deal could be dead in September

Aug 17, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT


The hopes of seeing a new arena built in the Toronto suburbs to bring a second NHL team to the area may soon be dashed.

Ken Campbell of The Hockey News reports Markham, Ontario deputy mayor Jack Heath is looking to put forth a motion on September 17 to kill the financial framework of the project.

“When you add it all up, a second franchise for the GTA is not a priority,” Heath said. “I have no interest in duplicating Copps Coliseum.”

It was just last year Heath declared the project had lost his support and now he’s hoping to put a bullet in it for good and it’s likely because the financial details of the project would put Markham in a big hole.

For what it’s worth, Copps Coliseum is the too-small-for-the-NHL arena in Hamilton, Ontario that Jim Balsillie wanted to move both the Predators and Coyotes to.

As Campbell notes, the city will need to borrow $365 million of which only $162.5 million will be paid back by former Bauer chairman Graeme Roustan. One way or another, the city gets stuck with a hefty bill and no guarantees they’ll get an NHL team to play there.

Roustan said the arena doesn’t need an NHL anchor tenant, good luck selling that to the city council.

  1. beergold - Aug 17, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    No point in having another AHL quality franchise in the GTA. Save your money Markham and let those who waste their money on the Laffs keep contributing to that teams eternal quest for mediocrity!

    • sunderlanding - Aug 17, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      Is it a waste to hope your team will win? That’s what a real fan is anyway, or did you think real fans only cheer for winning teams? Can you spell “bandwagon”?

      • dueman - Aug 17, 2013 at 6:27 PM

        Don’t mind beergold, immature little kids think they are cool when they write stupid insults on the internet and have “beer” in their name.

      • kaptaanamerica - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:49 PM

        There’s hoping your team will win but being realistic about the chances… and then there are leafs fans. The reason the team loses all the time is the fans who have no clue and continue to support mediocrity and pathetic results.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:38 PM

        Booed Wilson and Burke out of town… yep… sounds like fans settling for mediocrity. Do you Leaf-haters actually believe the drivel that you spew out?

      • sunderlanding - Aug 18, 2013 at 2:22 PM

        I think you’re replying to the wrong dude.

    • gurfunklebunker - Aug 17, 2013 at 5:52 PM

      An AHL quality team that pushed the Bruins to the limit. Yep.

    • kaptaanamerica - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:00 PM

      There needs to be a second team in the gta for the 905 so everyone in the city area who hate the leafs and their miserable ways had an actual team they can support in the region.lots of people who live here despise the leafs and their culture of ineptitude continually embarrassing everyone who happens to live in the area.

      • dueman - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:35 PM

        You just can’t help being yourself, can you? Obviously your team has’t done anything special lately so all you have is insulting the Leafs and their fans. Just a wild guess here, but I’ll put money on you being either a Habs or Sens fan. Judging by your sheer ignorance I’ll go with Habs fan…Am I right?

      • stinkpretty1 - Aug 18, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        what do the Leafs have, that the Habs dont?

        Black & White photos of their LAST Cup

  2. vstar1us - Aug 17, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    Really, WTF are you all thinking!

  3. canucks30 - Aug 17, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    The NHL isn’t expanding to the East.

    Especially with the new realignment, Seattle, Portland, Las Vegas, and Kansas City are more likely even though it may seem illogical.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Aug 17, 2013 at 6:47 PM

      I don’t think even Gary Bettman is that stupid to put an NHL team in a city known for one thing. Gambling. That is why no other sport (NFL, NBA, or MLB) had a team their.

      I think the NHL has room for one more team out east. If this Markham deal is assassinated by this whatever Canada calls their mayors, Quebec still has to be an odds on favorite to land an expansion team. Which wouldn’t be hard to fix realignment. Either Detroit or Columbus goes back west to the central division (probably Columbus), then shift Colorado to the pacific (which maintains the division is no bigger than 2 time zone theme the west has). Then either Portland or Seattle land the other expansion team.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:25 PM

        Both Detroit and Columbus would heavily oppose this it is a TV schedule nightmare of the ETZ teams to be playing in the Pacific, or even Mountain. Then you add the travel time.

        I know it does not seem fair to the Canadian fans, but the reality is that the population is disproportunately weighted towards the east, and right now the league is unbalanced. I agree about NV being a non-starter. Nobody is mentioning it, but Salt Lake possibly has the population base – the Jazz average about 19,400 the last 5 years.

        While Quebec City could support a team (I note that in NHL attendance that Canadian teams run at 100% attendance), they will likely only get one when one of the southern US or Columbus teams can’t make it without continuing to siphon revenue from the rest of the league.

      • dueman - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:42 PM

        greatmiamisportsmind – While I agree with everything that you said, the “whatever Canada calls their mayors” thing is pretty bad guy! We call our Mayors Mayors, you moron. Get an education already!

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Aug 19, 2013 at 1:12 AM


        Detroit or Columbus have to go out west anyways. Under the new scheduling format each team visits every city once out of division. Going to the central means that they play a handful of games such as at Minnesota, Chicago, and Nashville at 8:00 local start in Detroit. They would still play 41 home games and 15 road games which is almost 70% of their schedule in the eastern time zone.


        I got my education in the US, not Canada. If I really want to offed someone I’d start talking about why some people here actually care about the damn British baby that was born to that kinda hot girl and someone prince or whatever that guy is called.

  4. multiplemiggs - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    idiots thought they were gonna have a team. the bigger idiots are the ones in Quebec. Ontario/Toronto thought they would copy New York, big city with 2 teams, problem is NEW YORK has a population of over 2 million people. Do any of you have common sense?? New York has the population to have expansion baseball team if they wanted. Just because Toronto is home to the hall of fame doesnt mean they are immediately host to two teams. sorry know it alls.

    • dueman - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:49 PM

      Hey idiot, Toronto has a population of over 2.7 million people you uneducated troll. You want to talk about common sense then maybe you should try and exercise some and educate yourself on a subject before you just spout off like a sorry, know it all! Wow some people are burnt!

      • channelguy - Aug 18, 2013 at 8:42 AM

        2.7 million is just the city of Toronto itself. Its METRO area, which all immediately abuts Toronto, puts the city a little over 6 million according to the 2011 census. That makes it the third largest metro area in North America, behind NY (which really has three teams, not two) and LA (which also has two teams — Anaheim is right next to it). Toronto recently passed Chicago.

        Markham is also MUCH better situated for fans who don’t live in downtown Toronto to get to games. Traffic into downtown Toronto has been brutal for 40 years, and there’s no fast transit access for most people in the GTA.

        Picking teams on the basis of ‘regional balance’ is idiotic. That’s how you wind up with hapless franchises like Phoenix which are dependent on soaking taxpayers to make them seem even close to profitable. What matters is 1) is the city large enough, and a good enough hockey market to be profitable and 2) is there quality ownership interested in a franchise. That’s it,

      • dueman - Aug 18, 2013 at 12:33 PM

        Very well said channelguy. Not sure where multiplemiggs came from but what he/she said is one of the most idiotic comments I’ve ever seen on this site.

      • zoombazoo - Aug 19, 2013 at 2:49 PM

        channelguy. People use the population argument all the time but are usually mistaken. If you go by metro area Toronto falls to 6th or 7th. NY 22M, LA 13M, Chi 9.5, Dallas 6.5, Houston 6.1 M.
        We are tied with Philly at 6M.

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      The population of the Golden Horseshoe is 8.7 million residents as of the 2011 census. It’s probably well over 9 million by now. Is that not enough?

      Add the fact that unlike the New York area, Hockey is the #1 sport in the Toronto area by far. Southern Ontario could easily support 2 or 3 more teams. The reason they don’t is because it would ruin teams like Buffalo who depend on Canadian tourists. The Maple Leafs would not be affected in the least.

      • maddenp6 - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:17 AM

        Buffalo doesn’t “depend” on its neighbors to the north. The Sabres have a billionaire owner. The Sabres/Leafs games in Buffalo have a pro leaf crowd because Sabres fans sell their tickets and would rather make a quick buck and watch the game from home. That doesn’t make less of a fan either. Quite honestly, I woud rather watch a game from home and not deal with with waiting in lines and obnoxious drunks (of either team). And, not that it relates to this, the Bills only play games in Toronto to line their pockets with Rogers money. The Bills have no need to play games there. I will concede that had a billionaire not bought the Sabres, I would be concerned about an additional team, but that isn’t the case anymore.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 19, 2013 at 7:47 PM

        There are more than just Leaf fans that go to Buffalo. Buffalo is a small market team that happens to be in a hockey market. There are fans of most teams in Ontario, not everyone is a Leafs fan. Plenty of people go to Buffalo to catch a game. Especially people who live in the Niagara/Hamilton area. It’s cheaper than going to a game in Toronto by a long shot. Sabres depend quite a bit on these fans coming to Buffalo. If Hamilton got a team, it would hurt Buffalo a lot more than it would hurt Toronto. The Maple Leafs wouldn’t be effected other than gaining a new rival.

  5. multiplemiggs - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    oh! and I forgot, that people from Quebec are horribly rude, no one likes them, all they care about is soccer, and they come to America every winter for vacation and dont tip anyone. Me being a millionare, I hear this from my family and employees all the time.

    • dueman - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM

      Wow, what are you, 12? If you are going to be so stupid as to try to say you’re a millionaire, maybe you should at least learn to spell millionaire first! Grow up already!

  6. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    Markham should build the arena, but instead of an expansion team, let the Leafs use it.

    The ACC is getting old… and it’s too close to the downtown. Most Leafs games during a weekday is usually filled with a bunch of stone faces in suits, who are more concern about their smart phones than the actual game. Get the Leafs away from Toronto’s business center and lets get some real fans back at the games. Haven’t seen that since Maple Leaf Gardens.

    • maddenp6 - Aug 19, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      Not that Toronto NEEDS the ACC downtown, it is nice to have it there. Among the multitude of reasons that downtown Buffalo is what it is is because they built the Ralph out in the suburbs. Moving UB’s main campus to Amherst and the section 8 housing aren’t helping the situation either.

      Totally agree with you that the “suits” ruin the games, especially post season ones where the middle class fan, in some cases, can’t afford the ticket(s). The people who go to games now are there to be seen and don’t really have an interest in the game itself.

  7. yonupe69 - Aug 18, 2013 at 6:01 AM

    Multiplemiggs NYC HAS 8.3MILLION in the city and 20MILLION METRO… Brooklyn alone would be the 4th or 5th largest city in the USA w 2 million + ppl

  8. nhstateline - Aug 18, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    I’m going to do this for the nice people in the USA who might not know about Canada. This might be the only serious thing I ever put on here.

    10 provinces (the smaller physical ones are in the East, they get bigger once you get off the east coast). Also 3 territories. Ontario=California in terms of the % of people living there versus the population of the country. The capital of Ontario is Toronto and that’s also the biggest city in the country. Confusingly, the capital of Canada is in Ontario too – Ottawa but it isn’t the capital of Ontario nor is it in a federal district. But it is on the border with Quebec (about 3x the size of Texas in land area). Many people in Quebec would like it to be independent, many would not. Most speak French, many are bilingual. The middle part is a lot like the upper midwest only colder in the winterand Alberta’s a lot like Texas or Oklahoma – looks like those places and it’s in the same business too- resource extraction. Place people want to move- British Columbia. Nice weather, very pretty, central location between North America and Asia. The provinces all have a provincial legislature and the person who is the head of the biggest party in it gets to be the Premier (sort of like being the Governor). Mayors are mayors everywhere in North America. There are also city managers in Canada just like in the USA.

    Really the majority party in the lower house of the legislature is in charge of lots of things. The person who is the leader of that is the Prime Minister. There is also a symbolic head of state -the Governor General. And a Senate, right now it’s padding its expenses, but it’s job is to raise issues that the elected House doesn’t want to talk about. They call the Senate the chamber of sober second thought. This seems to be more true during the day during the week than it is at other times.

    Canada’s a great country. All Americans should visit with open eyes and minds and closed mouths. They do lots of things well and differently than do we.

  9. mlblogsbufnyfan - Aug 20, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    Tax dollars were spent on the building of Copps Coliseum in Hamilton–all in the misguided goal of landing an NHL team–since this didn’t happen-when do I get my share of the taxes back??? My understanding now is that this place needs an expensive upgrade to be considered again to host a team–I sure as hell won’t be put on the “hook” for this with my taxes!!!

  10. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    And by the way, two friends and I spent 4 days skiing Mt. Tremblant in Quebec, we found the people very hospitable.

    So I also spent a week skiing the eastern townships and Mt. St. Anne – lovely time.

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