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Toronto Raptors

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TOareaFan

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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.
Not disputing your observations at all but that is likely influenced by how long the teams have existed and how long their season tickets have been held in families. Lots of Leaf season tickets are held by folks who have had them in their families for multiple decades.......back when Toronto was a bit more uni-cultural than multi-cultural....so it stands to reason the crowd would reflect that in some percentage....it also might influence the ages of the people there.

It is all anecdotal stuff (as others have noted) but I know that here at the office when we have Raptor tickets that are unused and available on a last minute basis for staff to use it always seems to take longer to find a staffer to take them than when we have Leaf tickets.....and, in direct comparison, our Raptor tickets are a bit better/sexier than our Leaf tickets.

I think a certain amount (not all but some) of the younger, hipper, more multi-cultural crowd at Raptor games is due to the fact that those tickets are bit easier to find and the city had evolved before they were available.....and people do like to "do stuff" and "get out there".

The feel I get is that the Leafs are still (for how long I don't know) the straw stirring the Toronto sports drink.
 

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Frank the Tank
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Not disputing your observations at all but that is likely influenced by how long the teams have existed and how long their season tickets have been held in families. Lots of Leaf season tickets are held by folks who have had them in their families for multiple decades.......back when Toronto was a bit more uni-cultural than multi-cultural....so it stands to reason the crowd would reflect that in some percentage....it also might influence the ages of the people there.

It is all anecdotal stuff (as others have noted) but I know that here at the office when we have Raptor tickets that are unused and available on a last minute basis for staff to use it always seems to take longer to find a staffer to take them than when we have Leaf tickets.....and, in direct comparison, our Raptor tickets are a bit better/sexier than our Leaf tickets.

I think a certain amount (not all but some) of the younger, hipper, more multi-cultural crowd at Raptor games is due to the fact that those tickets are bit easier to find and the city had evolved before they were available.....and people do like to "do stuff" and "get out there".

The feel I get is that the Leafs are still (for how long I don't know) the straw stirring the Toronto sports drink.
I agree with the historical aspect of the Leafs' history influencing their fan support. Keeping season tickets within a family is worthwhile given the ~20 year waiting list. Again, with the anecdotal stuff, I know families who split the cost of season seats among themselves for affordability.

In relation to the actual article/Leiweke comments, I think within 10 years the Raptors will undoubtedly be more popular in GTA municipalities with larger immigrant populations (Toronto's outer suburbs, Mississauga, Brampton, Markham, etc.) and by a large margin. The Leafs will remain far more popular in the "whiter" exurbs like Oakville, Burlington, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Aurora, Newmarket, etc as well as most parts of Old Toronto.

Yes, Raptors tickets are currently easier to find than Leaf tickets, but given the option, would many of these younger, "urban/hipper" Raptor fans choose to see a hockey game over a basketball game? My feeling is they wouldn't.
 

MisterF

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Basketball shmasketball. What kind of sport doesn't even allow its competitors to hit or tackle each other? Pfft :)

Toronto has a very flavour-of-the-month type of sports scene. 20 years ago people were saying the Blue Jays would be more popular than the Leafs. In 20 years? Who knows. In American cities the most popular teams are the ones that are steeped in tradition and have been around for generations. It really is a shame that so many people are so eager to cast aside the sports teams that we've had for a century in favour of the newest American import.
 

denfromoakvillemilton

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Basketball shmasketball. What kind of sport doesn't even allow its competitors to hit or tackle each other? Pfft :)

Toronto has a very flavour-of-the-month type of sports scene. 20 years ago people were saying the Blue Jays would be more popular than the Leafs. In 20 years? Who knows. In American cities the most popular teams are the ones that are steeped in tradition and have been around for generations. It really is a shame that so many people are so eager to cast aside the sports teams that we've had for a century in favour of the newest American import.
Basketball was invented by a Canadian. Football is the one with the concussions and other health problems, enjoy it while you can. American cities are as bandwagon as anyone so this statement is disingenuous.
 
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GenerationW

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Basketball was invented by a Canadian. Football is the one with the concussions and other health problems, enjoy it while you can. American cities are as bandwagon as anyone so this statement is disingenuous.
He was in the U.S. when he "invented" it and later became an American citizen, and the game's early development was an all-American affair.

Football isn't going anywhere. You'll probably see some substantial rule changes, but there's way too much money and interest to ever kill it.
 

denfromoakvillemilton

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He was in the U.S. when he "invented" it and later became an American citizen, and the game's early development was an all-American affair.

Football isn't going anywhere. You'll probably see some substantial rule changes, but there's way too much money and interest to ever kill it.
why did you post this
 

ehlow

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I was at the game yesterday (where they had a franchise record breaking lead) and the crowd was wild, such a fun one to watch.

In Cleveland today there were tons of loud Raptors fans, waving Canadian & "We the North" flags.

This is a pretty awesome time for our city.

These guys are such a like-able team: http://instagram.com/p/vurCOepAzk/
 
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Basketball shmasketball. What kind of sport doesn't even allow its competitors to hit or tackle each other? Pfft :)

Toronto has a very flavour-of-the-month type of sports scene. 20 years ago people were saying the Blue Jays would be more popular than the Leafs. In 20 years? Who knows. In American cities the most popular teams are the ones that are steeped in tradition and have been around for generations. It really is a shame that so many people are so eager to cast aside the sports teams that we've had for a century in favour of the newest American import.
Well who knows where the Jays would stand popularity wise had they continued their run of success from the early 90s. I would imagine a few playoff runs over the last 21 years would have improved their popularity beyond what it currently is, but even without any playoff appearances, the franchise isn't floundering.

Obviously the Leafs aren't going anywhere but the reality is the Leafs have been inaccessible to many sports fans for years. I think people dismiss the possibility of the Raptors becoming a big-ticket item here in Toronto because of their historical mediocrity, but quite a few Toronto residents relate to the game of basketball and NBA players far better than the NHL and hockey players, for obvious reasons. Beyond that, as a league, the NBA possesses far more clout worldwide than the NHL or hockey ever will and more people in the GTA are starting to realize that.
 

MisterF

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Because it was pointless. What makes you think I didn't know that about Naismith.
Your point about Naismith being Canadian seemed to be intended to refute my point about basketball being an American import. It doesn't matter that Naismith was Canadian, basketball is a thoroughly American sport that was codified, popularized, and professionalized primarily in the United States.

Well who knows where the Jays would stand popularity wise had they continued their run of success from the early 90s. I would imagine a few playoff runs over the last 21 years would have improved their popularity beyond what it currently is, but even without any playoff appearances, the franchise isn't floundering.

Obviously the Leafs aren't going anywhere but the reality is the Leafs have been inaccessible to many sports fans for years. I think people dismiss the possibility of the Raptors becoming a big-ticket item here in Toronto because of their historical mediocrity, but quite a few Toronto residents relate to the game of basketball and NBA players far better than the NHL and hockey players, for obvious reasons. Beyond that, as a league, the NBA possesses far more clout worldwide than the NHL or hockey ever will and more people in the GTA are starting to realize that.
Yes the Blue Jays might have been more popular if they had made some more playoff runs, but that's no guarantee of continued success. The Leafs were making frequent deep playoff runs that decade too, and there was huge excitement in the city every time it happened. That's tough for even a successful Jays team to compete with.

Funny how people choose a sport not by the sport itself, but by cultural impact and worldwide clout of its biggest leagues. I could use the same logic to argue that we should all start watching soccer and the other sports might as well pack it in. I can see the cultural aspect for sure - the hockey press is obsessed with glorifying small towns and backyard rinks to the point of being cringeworthy. But I follow the sport for the sport itself, not the hype.

Your point about the inaccessibility of the Leafs is a strange one. Saying that's hurting their popularity is a bit like saying "nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded". They're inaccessible because of their popularity. If the Raptors ever did become more popular than the Leafs, they'd be every bit as inaccessible.
 
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denfromoakvillemilton

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Well who knows where the Jays would stand popularity wise had they continued their run of success from the early 90s. I would imagine a few playoff runs over the last 21 years would have improved their popularity beyond what it currently is, but even without any playoff appearances, the franchise isn't floundering.

Obviously the Leafs aren't going anywhere but the reality is the Leafs have been inaccessible to many sports fans for years. I think people dismiss the possibility of the Raptors becoming a big-ticket item here in Toronto because of their historical mediocrity, but quite a few Toronto residents relate to the game of basketball and NBA players far better than the NHL and hockey players, for obvious reasons. Beyond that, as a league, the NBA possesses far more clout worldwide than the NHL or hockey ever will and more people in the GTA are starting to realize that.
Your point about Naismith being Canadian seemed to be intended to refute my point about basketball being an American import. It doesn't matter that Naismith was Canadian, basketball is a thoroughly American sport that was codified, popularized, and professionalized primarily in the United States.


Yes the Blue Jays might have been more popular if they had made some more playoff runs, but that's no guarantee of continued success. The Leafs were making frequent deep playoff runs that decade too, and there was huge excitement in the city every time it happened. That's tough for even a successful Jays team to compete with.

Funny how people choose a sport not by the sport itself, but by cultural impact and worldwide clout of its biggest leagues. I could use the same logic to argue that we should all start watching soccer and the other sports might as well pack it in. I can see the cultural aspect for sure - the hockey press is obsessed with glorifying small towns and backyard rinks to the point of being cringeworthy. But I follow the sport for the sport itself, not the hype.

Your point about the inaccessibility of the Leafs is a strange one. Saying that's hurting their popularity is a bit like saying "nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded". They're inaccessible because of their popularity. If the Raptors ever did become more popular than the Leafs, they'd be every bit as inaccessible.
So if people choose by clout its a bad thing? That is called socialization with a touch of globalization. You made the point yourself as to why hockey hasn't kept up - glorifying small crap. And two lockouts in 10 years didn't help either. And I believe you know soccer has a bigger presence then basketball in the GTA.

You need to come out and be honest:you think Canadian sports get the short shrift because they aren't "sexy", and give people reason to support Canadian sports, besides the fact they're Canadian.
 

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So if people choose by clout its a bad thing? That is called socialization with a touch of globalization. You made the point yourself as to why hockey hasn't kept up - glorifying small crap. And two lockouts in 10 years didn't help either. And I believe you know soccer has a bigger presence then basketball in the GTA.

You need to come out and be honest:you think Canadian sports get the short shrift because they aren't "sexy", and give people reason to support Canadian sports, besides the fact they're Canadian.
Yes, of course it's a bad thing. Do you listen to music based on how popular it is? Do you avoid movies that aren't blockbusters? Like I said, I support the sport for the sport, not the hype surrounding it. Hockey is faster, rougher, and more tense thanks to less scoring. There's nothing that makes basketball inherently more "sexy" or youth oriented - that's just the way it's branded itself. In countries like the UK it's looked at as an odd version of netball, a sport played primarily by women. Give it a different cultural context and the cool factor disappears.
 

denfromoakvillemilton

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Yes, of course it's a bad thing. Do you listen to music based on how popular it is? Do you avoid movies that aren't blockbusters? Like I said, I support the sport for the sport, not the hype surrounding it. Hockey is faster, rougher, and more tense thanks to less scoring. There's nothing that makes basketball inherently more "sexy" or youth oriented - that's just the way it's branded itself. In countries like the UK it's looked at as an odd version of netball, a sport played primarily by women. Give it a different cultural context and the cool factor disappears.
So I guess you never participate in popular culture then. This is just like those people who bash top 40 music the radio all day. Lower scoring in hockey is being looked at as a problem by Gary Bettman and the rest of the brass so I guess clearly they disagree. Like I said, why should people support Canadian Sports because they are canadian?
 

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