Were you wondering why you hear a ton about the American economic debacle, the potential bubble-popping in China, the menage à trois between France, Germany and Greece, but relatively little about Canada? It’s because the Canadian economy is going strong, benefiting from not corrupting its financial sector to banana republic levels, enjoying a robust trade in petroleum, iron ore and other raw materials, and getting a demographic bump from immigration.
But just how strong is the economy? Egads, they are bringing back baseball to Montreal, not to mention several other expansion teams in Ottawa, Hamilton, Halifax and Quebec City. The Expos might be back soon, not to mention the much missed Québec Nordiques!
Economic and demographic trends suggest the country could support three new NHL teams, the return of major league baseball to Montreal and the NBA to Vancouver, and as many as three, new Major League Soccer teams.
The study looked at population growth trends in specific markets, the effects of an aging population, the strength of the Canadian dollar, the movement of corporate head offices, and income growth to predict which cities will be able to support big-league sports.
The study found that all Canada’s existing major league sports teams are on a sound market footing, and suggests that Toronto could support a second National Hockey League team, along with Quebec City and Hamilton — bringing the Canadian total to 10.
Quebec City is set to begin construction of an NHL-sized arena, while various Hamilton proposals have been jilted by the NHL over the last 15 years.
Canada’s advice to its southern neighbors: don’t let your bankers run wild, and keep some heavy industry at home. Oh, and national healthcare might not be the worst thing in the world.