Toronto’s Politicians Clamoring for NBA Games to Be Played Again

by November 16, 2011

It’s not just elected officials in the United States who want to see NBA action in their cities; Canadians are also feeling the itch. Per the Globe & Mail: “On Tuesday, the chair of Toronto’s economic development committee echoed those sentiments. ‘We want the season to start,’ Michael Thompson said. ‘There’s an economic impact that will occur.’ Mr. Thompson met recently with NBA player Jamaal Magloire, a Toronto native, about the labour dispute that could lead to the cancellation of the entire 2011-12 season. Already some December games have been called off. ‘I’m not sure if a letter would change anything, but if it would, we would certainly want to support that,’ he said. The Raptors are one of 10 NBA teams that average more than $1-million a game in gate receipts. The full economic benefit of the Raptors to Toronto is not readily quantifiable, but the Air Canada Centre, the venue the team shares with the Toronto Maple Leafs, is believed to bring $2.4-billion to the city’s economy. After the baseball lockout of 1994-95, several teams took years to recover their before-lockout fan bases. The Montreal Expos never did recover from the erosion in interest and ended up moving to Washington. ‘It could really hurt the Raptors’ lock on the market,’ said Councillor Josh Colle, an avid basketball fan. ‘This could really hurt the team and have a larger negative impact on Toronto. We saw it in baseball.'”