News   Jan 27, 2023
 675     0 
News   Jan 27, 2023
 1.8K     0 
News   Jan 27, 2023
 3.8K     1 

Memorial Cup in Mississauga....spring 2011

TOareaFan

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
11,927
Reaction score
2,518
One of Canada's premier sporting events (I have always thought of it as Canada's version of US college basketball's "March Madness") is returning to the Greater Toronto area in the spring of 2011. I believe it is the first time the event has been held in the GTA since it was at MLG in 1966.

Anyone care?

Junior Hockey gets largely ignored in the GTA......every year we fill our bars and boost tv ratings over the holidays when Canada plays for gold at the World Juniors but when those same players return to their OHL clubs they cease to be important canadian athletes and return to being anonymous!

So, will the GTA embrace the Memorial Cup in Mississauga? Will it boost junior hockey's profile in the region so that the local teams can have more people in the stands after the cup has moved on?
 

jn_12

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
2,081
Reaction score
2
I plan on going. I don't know if Mississauga was the right choice (Windsor seemed to be the obvious one) but I'd imagine they'll sell out every game still. I don't know what this does for Junior hockey in the GTA. It's a weird phenomenon. Junior hockey just seems to work best in smaller communities (well as much as Windsor and London are small communities). One of my best friends growing up played for Peterborough and was basically a god in the city, especially once he became captain. If he played for St Mike's instead, no one would have cared.

I'd like to think this will help augment junior hockey in the area, but i think it'll take more than that.
 

TOareaFan

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
11,927
Reaction score
2,518
I plan on going. I don't know if Mississauga was the right choice (Windsor seemed to be the obvious one) but I'd imagine they'll sell out every game still. I don't know what this does for Junior hockey in the GTA. It's a weird phenomenon. Junior hockey just seems to work best in smaller communities (well as much as Windsor, Ottawa and London are small communities). One of my best friends growing up played for Peterborough and was basically a god in the city, especially once he became captain. If he played for St Mike's instead, no one would have cared.

I'd like to think this will help augment junior hockey in the area, but i think it'll take more than that.

Thanks for replying....I was starting to think the answer was no one cares! BTW...fixed your post a bit.

Like you, I believe it will sell well....but this Memorial Cup, I think, will also be measured by whether it impacts (in a longer term) the perception/acceptance of Junior Hockey in the GTA.

For, at least, the last two years Brampton and Mississauga have had the worst and second worst attendances in the OHL (08/09 it was mississauga worst Brampton second...this year the reverse).
 
G

gabe

Guest
Should do alright. It's in May so its not like the leafs will be playing.
 

jn_12

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
2,081
Reaction score
2
ya I had Windsor on my mind and then worked my way up the highway to London haha. You can throw Ottawa in that list too. Actually, Brampton and Mississauga are pretty much a similar size as those places, but because they're in the shadow of Toronto it just doesn't work for some reason. I think part of it might be that there isn't a sense of community in those places, and if there is one it's marginal and isn't associated with hockey. In smaller communities where hockey is pretty much everything (and if you have ever lived in Peterborough, you'll get what I mean) it's basically the thing to do on a Saturday night. Just look at some of the population bases that other teams across the country have to draw from (I'm thinking places like Swift Current and Owen Sound), yet attract as many or more people to their games than Brampton and Mississauga.

If we're going to measure this Memorial Cup on its ability to create a lasting legacy in the GTA, I think we're setting ourselves up for failure, to be honest.
 

TOareaFan

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
11,927
Reaction score
2,518
ya I had Windsor on my mind and then worked my way up the highway to London haha. You can throw Ottawa in that list too. Actually, Brampton and Mississauga are pretty much a similar size as those places, but because they're in the shadow of Toronto it just doesn't work for some reason. I think part of it might be that there isn't a sense of community in those places, and if there is one it's marginal and isn't associated with hockey. In smaller communities where hockey is pretty much everything (and if you have ever lived in Peterborough, you'll get what I mean) it's basically the thing to do on a Saturday night. Just look at some of the population bases that other teams across the country have to draw from (I'm thinking places like Swift Current and Owen Sound), yet attract as many or more people to their games than Brampton and Mississauga.

If we're going to measure this Memorial Cup on its ability to create a lasting legacy in the GTA, I think we're setting ourselves up for failure, to be honest.

You may be right....I hope your wrong though!

Across the country there are pretty good examples of it working in big cities......Vancouver Giants do ok at the gate as do the Calgary Hitmen....actually I think the top 5 teams in the country in attendance could all call themselves (by Canadian standards) large cities - I believe it goes like this:

1. Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) 12,089.5
2. London Knights (OHL) 9,015.4
3. Calgary Hitmen (WHL) 8,478.4
4. Ottawa 67's (OHL) 7,499.4
5. Vancouver Giants (WHL) 7,117.4

(source is wikipedia so grain of salt recommended)

Interestingly, as in Toronto, Junior hockey has to compete with an NHL team for attention in 3 of the 5.......also interestingly, if you add the average attendance for Mississauga and Brampton together you are just past half way to being a top 5!

I have this conversation a lot with people (the one about why "no one" in the GTA watches Jr. hockey)....in the end I think I can debunk most of the theories and it comes down to this....as much as we think of ourselves as a great hockey town/region...we really aren't....we are a good Leaf town....but not so much a hockey town.
 
Last edited:

jn_12

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
2,081
Reaction score
2
And the Marlies do really poorly too. Comparatively, do you know how the Tier II Jr teams in the GTA do for attendance?

this topic is certainly something I'm interested in but haven't had a lot of discussion about. For the longest time OHL hockey didn't work in the Niagara region. The NF Thunder didn't attract as many people as the teams in the Junior B league in Niagara and that's why they moved to Erie (part of it was an arena issue too). Why would people be more interested in Junior B than the OHL? Well, they liked the inter-city rivalries. People in Welland love beating Port Colborne. Thorold loved playing St Catharines and so on. There was no attachment to a team who was playing towns we didn't care about. The ice dogs are doing alright in a very small arena, but they get as many people as the St Catharines Falcons (the jr. b team). The business of sport can be a weird thing. Population base doesn't seem to matter and a wide variety of issues can determine if something works or not. It's not like Walmart + population base = success.
 

TOareaFan

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
11,927
Reaction score
2,518
And the Marlies do really poorly too. Comparatively, do you know how the Tier II Jr teams in the GTA do for attendance?

this topic is certainly something I'm interested in but haven't had a lot of discussion about. For the longest time OHL hockey didn't work in the Niagara region. The NF Thunder didn't attract as many people as the teams in the Junior B league in Niagara and that's why they moved to Erie (part of it was an arena issue too). Why would people be more interested in Junior B than the OHL? Well, they liked the inter-city rivalries. People in Welland love beating Port Colborne. Thorold loved playing St Catharines and so on. There was no attachment to a team who was playing towns we didn't care about. The ice dogs are doing alright in a very small arena, but they get as many people as the St Catharines Falcons (the jr. b team). The business of sport can be a weird thing. Population base doesn't seem to matter and a wide variety of issues can determine if something works or not. It's not like Walmart + population base = success.

The only Tier II teams that I have any famiarity with are the Brampton Capitals and a little bit of Oakville.

Brampton draws between 60 and 70 people a night at Memorial Arena (the Bramalea Blues of the same league drew about the same in the Powerade Centre before they recently re-folded) and get zero community support (in terms of sponsorship). Oakville has stronger community support and slightly better attendance (it is in the hundreds per night).

I don't think anyone is naive enough to expect the same level of support on a per capita basis in the bigger centres as in smaller places but if Barrie (as an example) can get around 4k a night with their population of, what, 128k (2006 Census) that represents 3% of their population at any given game.....to achieve the same 4k, Brampton would need penetration of less than 1% and Mississauga even lower. I once heard that an OHL team needs around 2,700 to break even (depends on lease deal, sponsorship, etc but that is the average)....for Brampton that would be a huge increase and still be around .5% of the population.

Both Mississauga and Brampton play in nice, (relatively) new facilities.....both arenas are fun to watch hockey in (particularly when the crowd gets over, say, 3k....which it ocassionally does).....both communities would describe themselves as hockey towns (until the last couple of years the BYHA was the largest youth hockey organization in the province).....both have younger demographics (typically the OHL target) than the GTA as a whole and both should, you would think, benefit from those hockey loving fans in neighbouring communities of the GTA which don't have OHL.....but, alas, they don't.
 

jn_12

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
2,081
Reaction score
2
ya BYHA is huge and their AAA teams even wear the Battalions jerseys! So you'd think there'd be a greater connection there. Maybe they're just horrible at marketing the game? I'd really hate to think that people in the GTA are just Leaf/Team Canada fans but the more I think about it, there's something to that notion. I'd assume that if another NHL team came here they'd be well-supported, so maybe people just like top notch hockey (though they seem to be okay with the leafs being mediocre). I think part of it is the public's exposure to the teams. Do Brampton and Mississauga have daily papers? Are the teams at the forefront of the sports section? I know in Niagara the Jr B teams are always on the front page of the daily sports section, and I know that there are daily write-ups about minor hockey. So people are aware of everything going on in hockey down there, not just what the Leafs or Sabres are doing.

80 people for a tier II game is so small. My AAA team in Peewee and Bantam regularly had more than that in Welland. Hell, when I was a Bantam (so 16 years old, during OHL draft year) I played in front of a sell-out crowd in Peterborough's memorial centre. That's 4000 people coming to watch guys who aren't even juniors yet! (that's how crazy they are for hockey there). The Welland Jr B team used to average around 1000, but I wouldn't be surprised if that has dropped a bit due to the economy down in Niagara. Still even if it was 500, that'd be pretty good in comparison. You'd probably be hard pressed to find 500 people in Brampton that know the name of their Tier II team.

As for revenue, I've always heard that an OHL team is a license to print money. Minimal costs for players (mind you, there are always rumours that some of the star players get paid more than their allowance...), minimal cost for travel, most teams own their arenas or at least have very favourable deals, and an average attendance of just under 3,000 puts you around $1million in revenue on ticket sales alone (assuming average ticket is $10). I'm having trouble figuring out where they'd spend $1mill/year to be honest. I heard that when London won/hosted the Memorial Cup a few years ago they made $6million in profit. Obviously those were unique circumstances, but still...
 

TOareaFan

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
11,927
Reaction score
2,518
ya BYHA is huge and their AAA teams even wear the Battalions jerseys! So you'd think there'd be a greater connection there. Maybe they're just horrible at marketing the game? I'd really hate to think that people in the GTA are just Leaf/Team Canada fans but the more I think about it, there's something to that notion. I'd assume that if another NHL team came here they'd be well-supported, so maybe people just like top notch hockey (though they seem to be okay with the leafs being mediocre). I think part of it is the public's exposure to the teams. Do Brampton and Mississauga have daily papers? Are the teams at the forefront of the sports section? I know in Niagara the Jr B teams are always on the front page of the daily sports section, and I know that there are daily write-ups about minor hockey. So people are aware of everything going on in hockey down there, not just what the Leafs or Sabres are doing.

Both municipalities have papers (Brampton Guardian and Mississauga News) neither of whiich is daily (few times a week)....both teams are front page news in the respective sports sections. As you can imagine, the 1.2 million (or so) residents of Peel rely on Toronto based media (tv, radio, papers) for their news coverage. Coverage of Junior Hockey in the Toronto (ie. GTA) media is awful (the Fan gives better coverage than other outlets 'cause a few of their guys - Roger Lajoie and Mike Hogan - are big fans/proponents of the game). Battalion don't market well (run ads in local paper)....Mississauga does a bit better (some radio spots on the Fan as an example) but it does not seem to help them at the gate in any apprecialbe fashion. You would hope, however, that after 13 years of each city having OHL teams that people sort of know it.....I think they do, actually, they just choose not to go.

80 people for a tier II game is so small. My AAA team in Peewee and Bantam regularly had more than that in Welland. Hell, when I was a Bantam (so 16 years old, during OHL draft year) I played in front of a sell-out crowd in Peterborough's memorial centre. That's 4000 people coming to watch guys who aren't even juniors yet! (that's how crazy they are for hockey there). The Welland Jr B team used to average around 1000, but I wouldn't be surprised if that has dropped a bit due to the economy down in Niagara. Still even if it was 500, that'd be pretty good in comparison. You'd probably be hard pressed to find 500 people in Brampton that know the name of their Tier II team.
.

Funny you mention that....me and another guy who know the owner of the Capitals took a walk about in Downtown Brampton recently (memorial arena is in the old part of town adjacent to downtown) and asked people if they would support the Caps....."who" was the most common answer....this is not a new team...they have been around "a while".

As for revenue, I've always heard that an OHL team is a license to print money. Minimal costs for players (mind you, there are always rumours that some of the star players get paid more than their allowance...), minimal cost for travel, most teams own their arenas or at least have very favourable deals, and an average attendance of just under 3,000 puts you around $1million in revenue on ticket sales alone (assuming average ticket is $10). I'm having trouble figuring out where they'd spend $1mill/year to be honest. I heard that when London won/hosted the Memorial Cup a few years ago they made $6million in profit. Obviously those were unique circumstances, but still...

Some OHL teams might be a license to print money but you do have expenses. Travel is more expensive than you think.....coaching staff is not free (most OHL coaches are 6 figure salaries), arena rental (I think the teams that own their own arenas are in the vast minority...if any - too tired to think of it but none come immediately to mind)......but the biggest expense is education!

A few years ago (again, can't remember exactly when) the O was having more trouble than historically so attracting the best players......it was hard to get the kids to forgoe college scollarship offers to take a shot at the pros through the Major Junior ranks......once you step on the ice in major junior you lose any elligibility to play NCAA hockey (so they couldn't even say "try us for a year then go college").....so major junior developed a program where a player earns a year of canadian university paid for for each year of junior they play.....so the cost gets pretty big.....of course the quality of canadian university hockey has dramatically improved as a lot of the men playing there are doing so after 3 or 4 years in major junior.

the 2,700 (+/-) break even point was given to me by an executive with a club that is not quite getting there....so I did not just make it up. But you are somewhat right.....if you look at the list above and use Ottawa....if their break even is 2,700 and their average ticket price is $10....their average attendance (over just a 34 game home regular season) would produce 34 X $10 X (7500 - 2700) of profit.....that works out to about $1.6 million per year (plus any playoff action).
 

GenerationW

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Messages
2,531
Reaction score
179
I also thought Windsor would get it, but Mississauga is expected to be a contender next year so I can't argue with the choice. I just worry what it would mean long-term for Mississauga and Brampton if the 2011 tournament bombs.

Too bad there's little chance of Brampton earning the second OHL berth.
 

jn_12

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
2,081
Reaction score
2
Funny you mention that....me and another guy who know the owner of the Capitals took a walk about in Downtown Brampton recently (memorial arena is in the old part of town adjacent to downtown) and asked people if they would support the Caps....."who" was the most common answer....this is not a new team...they have been around "a while".
I know the memorial arena well. It's a nice old barn. But your answer doesn't surprise me.

Some OHL teams might be a license to print money but you do have expenses. Travel is more expensive than you think.....coaching staff is not free (most OHL coaches are 6 figure salaries), arena rental (I think the teams that own their own arenas are in the vast minority...if any - too tired to think of it but none come immediately to mind)......but the biggest expense is education!

A few years ago (again, can't remember exactly when) the O was having more trouble than historically so attracting the best players......it was hard to get the kids to forgoe college scollarship offers to take a shot at the pros through the Major Junior ranks......once you step on the ice in major junior you lose any elligibility to play NCAA hockey (so they couldn't even say "try us for a year then go college").....so major junior developed a program where a player earns a year of canadian university paid for for each year of junior they play.....so the cost gets pretty big.....of course the quality of canadian university hockey has dramatically improved as a lot of the men playing there are doing so after 3 or 4 years in major junior.

the 2,700 (+/-) break even point was given to me by an executive with a club that is not quite getting there....so I did not just make it up. But you are somewhat right.....if you look at the list above and use Ottawa....if their break even is 2,700 and their average ticket price is $10....their average attendance (over just a 34 game home regular season) would produce 34 X $10 X (7500 - 2700) of profit.....that works out to about $1.6 million per year (plus any playoff action).

That's interesting. I'd imagine the coach/gm/staff is the greatest expense. I guess travel costs depend on the team. Obviously Brampton being within 2 hours of half the league can save quite a bit on hotels and whatnot (since they tend to group together weekend road trips). A team like the Sault would probably have some harder hits to the bank account. It makes me wonder how teams in the W do it. I couldn't imagine.

I'm not so sure the O has struggled to get players though. I'm thinking of high end guys from Ontario that went the NCAA route, and the only one that comes to mind is Cogliano. If anything, they've stolen quite a few guys from the NCAA (Kane is the biggest name). From my own draft year (2001), I can't think of anyone who didn't go to the O that would have had a huge impact there. Some guys I played with went to the NCAA but those guys are only AHL calibre players. Mind you the 01 draft year was one of the deepest draft years too (it eventually became the amazing 2003 NHL draft class). Also, the OHL now covers the cost of university for players once they're done, not the individual teams. There was a lawsuit started by Brody Todd (a guy I played with a bit in Welland actually) from when he finished his 5 years after playing with 4 different teams. None of them wanted to pay for his schooling. So David Branch centralized the program to make sure it didn't happen again. I don't know if every team contributes money to the program or if it is covered by sponsorship dollars though.

All this talk makes me wish the Majors were still in Toronto. I moved here just after they moved to mississauga and after spending 4 years watching the Petes it would have been nice to have another local team.
 

TOareaFan

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
11,927
Reaction score
2,518
^to be clear, it was not the high end guys that they had trouble attracting...those high end guys tend to know they are headed for the NHL draft and don't spend a lot of time considering their educational futures.

The mid guys (who really are the guts of any OHL team were the ones)....the ones that are questionable NHL prospects but taking a shot.
 

savevp

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 25, 2009
Messages
230
Reaction score
5
I think one of the reasons Mississauga got the Mem Cup was because out of Barrie, Windsor and Kingston and them, they will be the best next year. Barrie and Windsor are going downhill now that they will have guys drafted into the NHL and Kingston has a pretty lousy team. Mississauga is going to be pretty good next year.

My concern is attendance. Sure the Hershey Centre is a beautiful rink but on average, Mississauga sells less than 3000 seats a game (I believe). Sure, it may be the Memorial Cup but once the majors are in, they had better start attracting more fans. I do believe they can.

I, for one, will be attending for sure. Although I am a Barrie Colts' fan and dislike the Majors intensely, I am glad to see the Mem Cup action once again.

All this talk makes me wish the Majors were still in Toronto. I moved here just after they moved to mississauga and after spending 4 years watching the Petes it would have been nice to have another local team.
One of the primary reasons the Majors moved to Mississauga (besides Eugene Melnik's somewhat shady dealings) was because Toronto was playing out of a decrepit old barn at SMCS. They couldn't build a new arena so the teams moved. Aswell, Niagara really deserved a team after 35 years without one and they got it. If only they could build a new arena too.
 

jn_12

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
2,081
Reaction score
2
Ya I know why the team left Toronto. It just would have been nice if my moving to Toronto didn't coincide with them leaving. As well, it hasn't been 35 years since Niagara has had a team. The Thunder were in Niagara Falls as recently as 1996. They had arena issues as well. There isn't an appetite in Niagara for building a big new arena. St Catharines is a very conservative city and it along with the region has been hit hard economically over the last 5 years. The only place that could afford an arena would be Niagara Falls and it would basically have to be funded with tourism money.
 

Top