Photo courtesy CFL Communications
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. Posted every Sunday/Monday. Submit your links to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grey Cup by the numbers
It was a thrilling end to the CFL season as the Ottawa RedBlacks upset the heavily favoured Calgary Stampeders in OT on Sunday night by a 39-33 margin. Despite the high-scoring affair, this year’s game drew an average TV audience of 3.6 million viewers, down 12% from 2015. Viewership peaked at 5.7 million in the 4th quarter when Calgary made things interested and forced OT, giving credibility to the argument that the anticipated lopsided matchup turned a lot of viewers away. But in a multi-channel world, TV ratings don’t paint the entire picture in terms of people reached. The CFL and TSN reported that live streaming on TSN.ca increased 35% YoY, global reach on Twitter was up 52%, and web traffic increased nearly 100% on CFL.ca on Sunday.
— CFL Communications (@CFL_PR) November 28, 2016
— Paulo Senra (@paulosenra) November 28, 2016
— Paulo Senra (@paulosenra) November 29, 2016
Major League Ticket Sales
Soft ticket sales leading up to the Grey Cup had many pondering if Toronto had reached event fatigue in 2016. If ticket sales for Game 2 of the MLS Conference Finals between Toronto FC and Montreal Impact is any indication, that’s not the case. According to Kurtis Larson, 36,000 are expected for Wednesday night’s match. This comes on the heels of 61,004 packing the Big O in Montreal for Game 1.
NEWS: Toronto FC – Montreal Impact has sold out ahead of tomorrow night, I'm told. Capacity set at 36,000 for East final. #TFCLive
— Kurtis Larson (@KurtLarSUN) November 29, 2016
— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) November 23, 2016
Vegas Golden Knights
Vegas is not in Canada, but any expansion team announcement in the NHL has an impact on Canadian fans and teams. The new NHL team will be known as the Vegas Golden Knights (not really sure what happened to the “Las”). Despite a successful season ticket drive, I think the long-term success of the team will hinge on the number of walk-up tickets sold to tourists and convention-goers; a lot of those people being Canadians who are visiting Sin City. As a result, the location of the arena is key. If T-Mobile Arena was in downtown Las Vegas, I think it’s a big issue. The fact it’s on the Strip, close to popular hotels makes it a very viable entertainment option for anyone visiting the city. It’s a gamble for the NHL, and one that hurts for Canadian fans after Quebec City got snubbed, but understandably an opportunity that was hard for the League to pass up.
— Rogers NHL GCL (@RogersNHLGCL) November 23, 2016