New $325-Million Arena in Markham

Over the past decade there have been many National Hockey League (NHL) teams in financial turmoil.  For what is a multi-billion dollar industry there are many teams who barely scrape by and even loves millions of dollars yearly.  This has caused the NHL executives to look at possible cities for relocations and new ownership groups. This article discusses how the City of Markham is planning on building a $325-million arena to house an NHL team for expansion of the league or a relocation of a team that is in financial difficulty.  They are planning to do this with both public and private money, but with absolutely no guarantee or even possibility of getting team in the near future.

An important point not mentioned in this article is that the Toronto Maple Leafs own the City of Markham’s rights and earn revenues from the city. An NHL team in Markham would cause the Toronto Maple Leafs, the league’s most profitable team, to lose numerous fans and money. This money would come not only in the form of ticket sales, but sponsorship, advertising and memorabilia as well. I do understand how large the hockey market is in the Greater Toronto Region; however, from a league and policy view, I think if Ontario was to receive another NHL franchise a city like Hamilton or London should receive more attention than another team in the vicinity of Toronto. There are even hockey markets in the United Sates, where the NHL would like to increase revenues from, that could house an NHL franchise, such as Seattle or Las Vegas.

I would personally love to see another NHL franchise in Ontario, or in Markham, but from a league view on the situation, it does not make any sense. Why the City of Markham would even attempt a project of this financial magnitude confuses me, even more so since Gary Bettman has publicly told the city that they will not be receiving a team.


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3 Responses to New $325-Million Arena in Markham

  1. mattgraham99 says:

    Living in the GTA, I agree that an NHL team in Markham would be great and bring a lot of money to the area. However with the Leafs being such a powerhouse financially in the NHL, i don’t believe that the NHL would risk putting another team so close to Toronto. I believe that it makes more sense for the NHL to expand into marketing without NHL teams such as Quebec, Seattle or even Las Vegas. I believe teams in these cities would better grow the game of hockey across North America instead of overloading one particular market. Also I feel that it is very risky for the city of Markham to invest such a large sum of money when the NHL has far from guaranteed that any Markham is even on their list of possible franchise locations.

  2. pw10wo says:

    I also agree that although it would be nice to have an NHL team in Markham, there is no way the league will allow it based on the territorial rights the Maple Leafs have on the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Territorial rights are necessary in order for any league and its teams to thrive financially, where it limits consumer choice and creates market power. A team in Markham would violate the Leaf’s territorial rights since it would impede on their consumer market. Unfortunately, I also believe cities like Las Vegas and Seattle will remain available since leagues strategically leave viable markets available to create a larger threat of relocation.

  3. mt10xn says:

    However, you can make the argument of cities such as New York or Los Angeles, that have teams in the same vicinity as Toronto and Markham. Although both cities are much bigger than Toronto, the ergonomics and overall plot of the city can be compared to both American landmarks. This means that since hockey has such a wide popularity across Ontario, a team in Markham could fit in perfectly. The Leafs could use some hometown competition to put pressure on both teams to perform. The atmosphere of the teams being so close mixed with the great hockey atmosphere of the surrounding community may turn Toronto into a booming market for not only sport, but sport sponsorship and marketing ploys with corporate and local businesses. Thus boosting Toronto’s economic output.

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