Market Monday #5: Toronto

Air Canada Center, home of the Toronto Blue Jays

Every Monday theBRKDWN releases our Market Monday segment. These are a series of articles that break down the history and sport markets in different cities each week, focusing specifically on teams in five of the major professional sports leagues in North America: NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and MLS. I will try to include only the most important and noteworthy information about each team including information such as year established, years a team existed if they no longer do or have relocated, number of championships won or participated in, other cities where a franchise previously existed, financial information, and any other noteworthy information. This week we focus on the segment’s first Canadian city — Toronto.

*NOTE: Toronto does not have an NFL team, however they do have a CFL team which will be discussed*


NHL Breakdown

Toronto Maple Leafs

Year Franchise Founded: 1917

Year Established in city: 1917

Previous team names: Toronto Arenas, Toronto St. Patricks

# of championships: 13

Team Estimated Value: $1.45 billion USD

Current Home Stadium: Scotiabank Arena

The Leafs are an Original Six team with plenty of history. They have always had a massive fanbase that can be extremely supportive yet quick to criticize. Even though the Leafs are on a 52-year championship drought (longest active drought in the NHL), they are still one of Toronto’s most popular franchises and the most valuable franchise in the city. Attending a Leafs game at Scotiabank Centre is the most expensive NHL game you can go to. Tickets cost $275.00 on average and one beer can cost you anywhere from between $14.50-$20.00 per can! These ridiculous prices must have helped to make the Leafs the second most valuable franchise in the NHL.

NBA Breakdown

Toronto Raptors

Year Franchise Founded: 1995

Year Established in city: 1995

# of championships: 0

Team Estimated Value: $1.4 billion USD

Current Home Stadium: Scotiabank Arena

The Raps are the only current Canadian NBA team and have yet to reach an NBA Final. Like most expansion teams, the Raptors struggled early on and attendance records were not great. The team drafted Vince Carter in 1998. He helped lead the Raptors to their first three consecutive playoff appearances, in turn helping them attract many more fans. Recently, the Raps have had regular season success finishing first in the Eastern Conference four times in the last five seasons. With the addition of Kawhi Leonard to their roster this season, fans believe the Raptors have a shot at making the franchise’s first ever NBA Final.  

MLB Breakdown

Toronto Blue Jays

Year Franchise Founded: 1977

Year Established in city: 1977

# of championships: 2

Team Estimated Value: $1.35 billion USD

Current Home Stadium: Rogers Centre

The Toronto Blue Jays are the only current Canadian MLB franchise and, as a result, the majority of the country cheers for them. The Jays have only made the playoffs seven times in their existence and won both of their World Series championships back-to-back in 1992-1993. The Rogers Centre is one of only two MLB ballparks that uses artificial turf.  

MLS Breakdown

Toronto FC

Year Franchise Founded: 2007

Year Established in city: 2007

# of championships: 1 MLS Cup, 7 Voyageurs Cups, 1 Supporters Shield

Team Estimated Value: $290 million USD

Current Home Stadium: BMO Field

TFC is the newest professional sports team in Toronto and currently has the highest payroll in MLS. They are the oldest of the three current Canadian MLS teams. TFC has only won one league championship but winning eight titles in tournaments outside league play in only 12 years of existence is still impressive.

CFL Breakdown

Toronto Argonauts

Year Franchise Founded: 1873

Year Established in city: 1873

# of championships: 17

Team Estimated Value: no available information

Current Home Stadium: BMO Field

The Argos claim to be the oldest American football team in North America yet there are disputes about this because of two football clubs that existed prior to 1873 who later combined in 1950 to form the Hamilton Tiger-Cats franchise. Despite all that, we can confirm that the Argos are one of the oldest American football franchises in North America. They are the most successful franchise in Toronto, despite Canadian football’s relative lack of popularity.

Unfortunately there’s no financial information available on the franchise’s current value but what we do know is the team was recently sold to Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) in 2017 for a price unknown to the general public. We also know that the previous owners before MLSE had purchased the team for $2 million back in 2003. I would assume the Argos are one of the least valuable teams in the city given the fact that Canadian football often loses the popularity contest to the NFL.  

Toronto Sport Market Recap

Total # of league championships: 33

Total Estimated Value: $4.49 billion USD (excluding the Toronto Argos)

The market in Toronto is unique because, financially speaking, not one franchise tends to completely dominate the others. It is said that Toronto is one of the greatest sports cities because even though some of their teams have lacked success in recent years, Toronto sports fans have always showed their teams a tremendous amount of support.

Check out our other Market Mondays

New York

Los Angeles

Chicago

Boston

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