#Sportsbiz Canada Weekly – October 31, 2016


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 sportsbusinesscanada@gmail.com

Disenchantment in the “mecca of MMA”

Following the dismissal of Tom Wright, EVP and General Manager for UFC Operations in Canada, our friend Matthew Ryder at Bleacher Report examined how, in a few short years, things went downhill for the UFC in a country that Dana White once hailed the “mecca of MMA”.

Major League Success

Last week, we talked to Trevor Whiffen about the challenges of selling tickets in a crowded marketplace. Fortunately, winning paid off for Toronto FC this season as they averaged 26,583 fans at BMO Field, a 13.4% increase over last season. Overall, 2016 was a great year at the gate for Canadian MLS teams, as TFC, the Impact, and Whitecaps registered the top 3 year-over-year % attendance increases in the league. These numbers bode well for the health of professional soccer in Canada.

CFL on the rise

Paulo Senra, the CFL’s Director of Communications, tweeted this week that the league’s Week 18 TV ratings are up 18% compared to last year. This comes on the heels of 902,000 viewers tuning into the Labour Day weekend game between the Tiger Cats and Argonauts, with a total of 2.9 million Canadians watching a part of the coverage.

From usher to head honcho

Great read this week from the Globe and Mail on Susan Darrington, the woman in charge of running the new $480-million Rogers Place in Edmonton. Marty Klinkenberg gives an inside look into a day in the life of overseeing a major league sports and entertainment venue.

Mullowney on the move

Rob Mullowney, currently the VP, Operations for the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps, has been named the Chief Operating Officer for the AHL’s Belleville Senators. Mullowney has worked 12 years in the AHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets and the Montreal Canadiens affiliates. During his five seasons with the IceCaps, he has played a key role in making the team a league leader in all revenue categories. His resume also includes the AHL’s Ken Mackenzie Award as the league’s top marketing executive. Mullowney will start in his new role on January 3, 2017, prior to the Binghamton Senators relocating to Belleville to begin play in 2017-18.

Adam Puddicombe

Adam Puddicombe is a digital marketing professional who, by day, works in the ad agency world, and by night, covers the intersection of Canadian sports, media, and technology. Adam holds a degree in commerce, with a focus in marketing, and previously worked for Hockey Night in Canada’s Play On! and the St. John’s Fog Devils of the QMJHL. Follow him on Twitter @adampuddicombe.