A weekly digest of the top Canadian sports business news, tweets, and more. All links are curated by hand by the Sports Business Canada team. Submit your links to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UFC 216 goes down Sept. 9th in Edmonton
UFC returns to Alberta for the first time since UFC 149 in Calgary in 2012. The event will mark the franchise’s first trip to the City of Champions. A special microsite – UFC.com/edmonton – has been launched, providing fans with pre-sale access to tickets and event related information. The last PPV north of the border was UFC 206 this past December at the ACC in Toronto. UFC Fight Night in Halifax two months ago drew 8,123 fans at Scotiabank Centre.
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) April 27, 2017
Attendance woes in Ottawa
Despite advancing to the second round of the NHL playoffs, the Senators are struggling to capture the attention of Ottawans. Announced attendance for Game 1 between the Sens and Rangers was 16,744, thousands shy of the 19,153 capacity at Canadian Tire Centre. 16,744 is the same number the Sens averaged at the gate during the regular season – good for 21st in the entire NHL and the team’s lowest average attendance since 1996-97. The only Canadian team they finished ahead of was Winnipeg but the Jets oversold every game at the smaller MTS Centre (107.5% capacity) while the Sens sat at 87.4% capacity for the season. The Sens are betting on a new arena on LeBreton Flats to be more convenient for fans compared to suburban Kanata, but that project is still years away if it gets the green light.
— HockeyNightInCanada (@hockeynight) April 28, 2017
IceCaps bid adieu…for now
The St. John’s IceCaps were eliminated from the Calder Cup playoffs last weekend, marking the end of an era for AHL hockey in St. Johns. The team will relocate to Laval to become the Rocket in October. The AHL had two stints in St. John’s with the Baby Leafs from 1991-2005 and most recently with the IceCaps from 2011-2017. While a return of the AHL to St. John’s is very unlikely given the desire of NHL clubs to have their top affiliate closer to home, the owners of the IceCaps are working on returning the QMJHL to the province. St. John’s was home to the QMJHL’s Fog Devils from 2005-2008 but poor attendance and high operating costs forced the relocation of the team to Montreal. The former Fog Devils franchise is now the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada who are currently playing in the QMJHL final against the Saint John Sea Dogs. Ironically enough, the Sea Dogs were the Fog Devils expansion cousins back in 2005.
— BarDown (@BarDown) April 29, 2017
Twitter announces premium sports content deals
On the heels of live streaming partnerships with NLL and MLB, this week Twitter announced additional video content deals with MLB, PGA Tour, WNBA, among others. According to Twitter Canada Head of Communications Cam Gordon, everything in this press release will be available in Canada aside from the STADIUM deal.
— Cam Gordon (@cam_gordon) May 2, 2017
— SportTechie (@SportTechie) May 2, 2017
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