Sports Business Canada Weekly Round-Up: March 1, 2013

To cap off a busy month, we’ve dug up some worthwhile sports business reads related to Canada from the past week that we thought were worth sharing:

Sportsnet Delivers Highest Blue Jays Spring Training Audience in Network History – Sportsnet.ca

There’s no denying that Blue Jays fever has swept the country. After two decades of pulling hair, Jays’ fans rejoiced after the team sent shock waves through the league this past winter with the acquisition of Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, R.A. Dickey, Emilio Bonifacio, and Maicer Izturis. Canadian baseball fans are amped up. Not only are the Blue Jays finally playoff hopefuls again, they could have what it takes to bring a third pennant north of the border. And with hype, comes ratings. On February 23, Sportsnet recorded its largest audience ever for a Blue Jays Spring Training game with an average of 456,000 viewers. While tweaks to the way television ratings are calculated may contribute to this, no one can argue the fact that Blue Jays fans are finally excited about their team again. For now, it looks like Rogers’ investment on the field is paying early dividends off of it.

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Breaking Down NHL Beer Costs: How Much Does $50 Get You? – Sporting Charts

Nothing says sports business like a good beer cost analysis. But all things aside, there’s no arguing the fact that suds at a sporting venue ain’t cheap. But how do the Canadian NHL arenas stack up to their American counterparts? Not great, but not bad either. While none of the Canadian NHL teams cracked the top 10 in terms of cheap beer, most teams were in the middle of the pack. Overall, only a few dimes separated the cheapest beer (Winnipeg at $7.01) to the most expensive beer (Edmonton at $7.76). Shockingly, Montreal and Toronto came in at 18th and 19th, respectively.

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Utica, N.Y. approaches Flames to move farm team from Abbotsford – Calgary Herald

Some news out of the American Hockey League this week as the Calgary Herald reported that Utica, N.Y. has approached the Flames to move their farm team to Utica. Right now, the Flames’ affiliate is located in the heart of Canucks country, Abbotsford, BC. However, in terms of logistics, the move to New York state doesn’t make much sense for the Flames. But then again, the baby Jets play out of St. John’s, NL. If the Flames do move their AHL team, expect the Canucks to move their farm club from Chicago to Abbotsford. The Canucks were left without an affiliate when the Jets came back to Winnipeg, forcing the Manitoba Moose (owned by True North Sports & Entertainment) to relocate to Newfoundland. After a scramble, the Canucks prospects landed in Chicago with the Wolves.

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Sixteen Fans from around the world selected to represent their nation – MLB.com

This is a neat initiative by MLB.com. With the World Baseball Classic going down this month, sixteen fans from around the globe have been selected to travel to NYC and represent their country in the MLB Fan Cave (as part of the MLB Fan Cave: World Baseball Classic Edition). And one of those lucky sixteen is a Canadian by the name of Daryl Andrews. Here’s a little bit about Daryl:

Team Canada: Daryl Andrews (@DarylmAndrews), 30, is a native of Kitchener, Canada and has been a loyal Toronto Blue Jays fan since childhood.  The only thing the youth correctional facility relief worker is more loyal to than the Jays is his nation – Canada. He has visited more than 15 Major League ballparks and attended more than 100 games, including the 2009 World Baseball Classic games at the Rogers Centre in Toronto to cheer on Team Canada.

Be sure to give Daryl a follow on Twitter.

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BMO Ultimate CHL Fans From Kamloops, Mississauga, and Moncton Score Trip for Two to Saskatoon for 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup – BMO.com

Switching gears with a little news from the sponsorship side. This past week, BMO Financial Group announced three grand prize winners of the BMO Ultimate Fan Contest, with each winning a trip for two to the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Saskatoon.

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GTA Centre

This is not a story per se, but it’s definitely newsworthy. On February 26, The Hockey News Editor in Chief, Jason Kay, tweeted:

When you visit gtacentre.ca, it reads, “Coming Soon…” Stay tuned.

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria proving to be among worst owners in sports history – National Post

For all you Expos fans out there…

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We want to hear from you! If you have any links that you think belong in the Weekly Round-Up, send us the link via e-mail or Twitter and we’ll get it in for next week. Also, be sure to join us on Twitter (@SportsBizCanada) or on LinkedIn at our company or group page.

Check back to Sports Business Canada next week as we bring you more blogs, features, and news!

Sports Business Canada

Covering the top stories at the intersection of sports and business in Canada.