“The six Canadian franchises do so well, they pack the buildings, get great TV, great revenue streams. If you put another team up there, be it in Nova Scotia or Hamilton, it would be more of the same.” -former NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly.
The idea of bringing more NHL teams to Canada is a common topic, especially with a few struggling teams in developing markets. Regardless of relocation, hockey is a growing sport, and the NHL continues to rapidly increase its revenues in US markets. But with just seven of the 30 NHL teams located in Canada, is it time to expand north of the US? Take a look at some of the most likely Canadian cities to get the next NHL franchise.
Local Population: 746,000
Regional Population: 1.3 million
Corporate Head Offices: 21
After-Tax Household Income: $42,469
Arenas: Videotron Centre: Opened 2015, 18,259 capacity
Number one on this list is, of course, Quebec City. The Montreal-based communications company, Quebecor, was one of the two groups to submit a bid for expansion, along with a potential Las Vegas team. Quebecor hopes to build an expansion team in Quebec City, where they already own the operating rights to the newly built arena, the Videotron Centre. The Videotron Centre is opening this year and will seat over 18,000 spectators. Like Quebec, Las Vegas is opening their new venue that will seat 17,500 for hockey games. With two capable ownership groups submitting NHL expansion bids, who possess state of the art venues, it is a sure thing that Quebec City will play host to an NHL franchise.