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Toronto Raptors

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someMidTowner

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It really depends on what you consider popular. The Raps gained quite a few bandwagon fans during their recent playoff run - which is something that also occurs during the infrequent years the Leafs make the postseason. Being a relatively new team with a young fan base, the Raptors simply have to win to remain relevant in the public eye, while the Leafs can afford to stagnate for seasons at a time without really losing a significant chunk of their market.
The case is best made by Leafs fans that pay a huge sum for a ticket, then attend the game with a bag over their head. When the Raps play poorly, ticket sales slump. When the Leafs play poorly, ticket sales remain high and the only thing that changes is the behaviour of the fans.
 

someMidTowner

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It's not guaranteed that the Leafs will remain popular even if they play lousy hockey. In fact, they probably won't.
That has been said time and time again, and yet, no decline in popularity has happened. We are approaching 50 years without a cup and sellouts are still regular. Large blocks of tickets are purchased by companies and it is extremely rare that you will see the ACC at less than 80% capacity for a Leafs game. If you compare ticket sales from the Raptors' and Leafs' 2013-2014 seasons, you will see that there is no question that the Leafs are still the dominant franchise.
 

canmark

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Globe:

The tweet was missed by many, and the promotion didn’t last long.

But there it was, a little after 2 p.m. on a game day, from the official account of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Tickets were half price.

Now, they were merely single seats, meaning you had to sit by your lonesome and make a new friend, as the promotion cheekily suggested.

But it was also a first by the Leafs. It’s an initiative the organization says is “to provide fans with more access” to games, one that they picked up from “other high-demand teams” such as the Los Angeles Kings.
 

junctionist

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That has been said time and time again, and yet, no decline in popularity has happened. We are approaching 50 years without a cup and sellouts are still regular. Large blocks of tickets are purchased by companies and it is extremely rare that you will see the ACC at less than 80% capacity for a Leafs game. If you compare ticket sales from the Raptors' and Leafs' 2013-2014 seasons, you will see that there is no question that the Leafs are still the dominant franchise.
We haven't seen a decade this bad yet. It's one thing not to win the cup; it's another not to even make the playoffs. People will support a team if it's competitive and makes the playoffs regularly. If it doesn't, it's only logical that support will decline.
 

gabe

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Ticket prices are insane for the leafs. I can't believe there is that many people out there willing to spend $182 to $487 to watch those losers play.
 

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A number of things about the Leafs:

1) Before the 2004-05 lockout, the Leafs never missed the playoffs more than two consecutive years. That said, despite a lengthy Cup drought, there was always enough relative success (playoffs) to generate fan interest. More recently, the Leafs made the conference finals in 1999 and 2002 which always gave fans some sort of hope that progress was being made. It sure as hell gave me hope back in the day.
2) They have a huge corporate presence with regards to tickets. Very, very few people actually spend their own hard earned money on Leaf tickets. That helps explain the consistent crowds as tickets tend to get passed down when the team flounders and demand dwindles.
3) The Leafs have failed to sellout the ACC once this year already. Don't know the last time the ACC wasn't sold out but it's probably been a while.
 

junctionist

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Immigrants who won't care about an uncompetitive team will slowly replace the population. Corporations will realize that taking people to Leafs games isn't that appealing since they don't win.

People lose interest in things that don't satisfy them.
 

utwatch

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All teams have ups and downs. But their are many examples of teams like the leafs with very long winning draughts that still keep large fan base but I'm not sure where the leafs are headed if they continue to loose. I think the raptors have had a loyal fan base for many years, even some of their not so great seasons I remember hearing about sell outs. I think it was the raptors first home game of this season, I watched the game on TV and they panned out to the crowd in mls. I'm thinking this city must be really digging this team when the first game of the season they have a huge outside crowd cheering them on.
 

ehlow

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This is a generalization and anecdotal, not supported by data of any kind, but my impressions are that Leafs fans demographically skew a bit older and more middle aged, whereas Raptors fans nowadays seem to be a younger, very multi-cultural fan-base.
 

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Frank the Tank
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This is a generalization and anecdotal, not supported by data of any kind, but my impressions are that Leafs fans demographically skew a bit older and more middle aged, whereas Raptors fans nowadays seem to be a younger, very multi-cultural fan-base.
AKA Leafs fans= white; Raptors fans= non-white (Another generalization, I know)
 

ehlow

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AKA Leafs fans= white; Raptors fans= non-white (Another generalization, I know)
Well, I would say Raptors fans include white people but also non-white people as well, maybe fairly equal percentages of each racial group.

Whereas the last Leafs game I went to was probably >80% white, and also the average age seemed much older.
 

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