Other than Hockey, what “sport city” would you brand Toronto as?

Question by : Other than Hockey, what “sport city” would you brand Toronto as?
Soccer? (TFC)
Canadian football? (Argos)
Baseball ? (Jays)
Basketball? (Raps)

I’m an outsider (Australian) interested in Toronto sports culture. I’m asking based on what people talk about at work, school, between buddies. What sport do you think is more culturally engrained of the 4 mentioned above?

Best answer:

Answer by mms’s
if I had to rank them by interest

Baseball (especially this year with the nba lock out)

agros are a sentimental favourite
soccer is sort of a boutique sport really popular amongst certain groups

What do you think? Answer below!

4 Thoughts on “Other than Hockey, what “sport city” would you brand Toronto as?

  1. Shawn Robin on April 22, 2014 at 3:49 pm said:

    Definitely baseball since the Jays have two World Series wins.

  2. Mug R on April 22, 2014 at 4:32 pm said:

    1 Hockey – IMHO new Canadians should embrace hockey, its an amazing sport to watch
    #2 Soccer – Not necessarily TFC, but soccer is a very popular sport. Half of the city was born outside Canada and Soccer is the world’s sport, so it is no surprise people love it. Being in this city during World cup is fantastic.
    #3 Baseball
    #4 Basketball
    #5 Football. NFL games get higher tv ratings in Toronto as far as I know.

  3. Eddie W on April 22, 2014 at 4:42 pm said:

    Funny though, you portrait Toronto as a ‘sport city’. As a matter of afact, Toronto has never been good at any sport at all. The Maple Leaves, Raptors, Argos, Blue Jay (it used to be good) and the forgone Blizzard are all sucks.

  4. Leafer on April 22, 2014 at 5:23 pm said:

    Hmmm well..IMO Toronto isn’t REALLY a hockey city…it’s a “Maple Leafs” city-the Leafs’ games are always sold out-and the wait list for season tickets has (literally)enough people on it to fill another arena.On the other hand minor-league hockey (AHL) tends to draw rather small crowds-The Edmonton Oilers had an AHL team in downtown Toronto a few years ago and they had to leave because of poor attendance.

    In terms of popularity(which isn;t necessarily quite the same as culturally ingrained perhaps-I’ll touch on that after-)-I’d rank them as follows-

    Second place is hard to guess-I’d agree with the guy above me and say MLS/TFC-tickets are relatively cheap and with the growing population of immigrants(many who have no familiarity with those other sports) in the Greater Toronto Area ,many of whom are young -and MLS seems popular with younger people especially in many places in North America that I’ve been to.

    The Jays and Canadian Football probably are about tied for 3rd-the Jays used to fill Skydome(aka Roger’s Centre) in early 90’s(when the team was successful)-but a variety of factors caused attendance (and interest) to drop off-the 1994 baseball strike , the gradual decline of the Jays on the field as the best players opted to sign contracts elsewhere (the Jays were taking in Canadian dollars and paying contracts in US dollars-at this time the Canadian dollar was only worth about 62 to 65 cents US)-plus the novelty “wore off” of going to Skydome-it’s retractable roof was unique at the time-but the bottom line is ,compared to other ballparks I’ve been to,it’s kinda of a crappy place to watch a ball game.It just lacks the “feel” many (most) other major league parks do-one Ex Jays player named Lloyd Moseby once referred to Skydome as “A shopping mall with a baseball field in it”-and that’s how many people feel about it actually.

    The Argos-Canadian Football,well,it is what it is-it has a very dedicated following-it seems there are no “I’m sort of an Argos fan”-you either are or you aren’t-and the Argos haven’t had much on field success for several years….bottom line is Canadian Football is kind of minor league compared to the NFL-the Buffalo Bills play 1 home game a year in Toronto and Rogers Centre is always sold out for it.(51 000 + attendance)

    In last place you would put the Raptors-again with the NBA lockout there’s not much buzz-the sport is more popular with younger people-I always figured a lot of the people who went to the games were there because 1) they couldn’t get Leafs tickets 2) there was nothing else to do(it’s winter) 3) they must have had 200+$ burning a hole in their pocket.

    Now as far as ingrained in culture- I pretty much agree with what the first poster said -other than 3 &4-TU to him too…

    1)The Leafs-by a million miles-every news outlet in Toronto(the papers,radio stations etc.) plus all the national Sports TV networks (which are Toronto-based) follow EVERYTHING this team does-every practice,every mundane Twitter comment by a player,anything and everything is analyzed,reported and sent out nation-wide within seconds of it happening.

    Former Leaf’s players -especially from more successful years -carry a god-like status in the city that could only be matched in Montreal by Ex-Canadiens players or in New York city by ex-Yankees.

    2) Probably the Jays-the bottom line is they’re the only Toronto sports franchise to win a major international championship in the last 44 years-they are still competitive,playing against tough competition -and the future seems promising.

    3) the Argos-the CFL (by one name or another)has been around for nearly 100 years-and names like Mike “Pinball” Cemons (an Argos player from better days in the 90’s) will be a prominent part of Toronto sports history forever-there are a quite a few people that like the fact the CFL is a “Canadian city only” league (though it has had US based teams before)

    4) the Raptors-The Raptors haven’t had much luck getting into the playoffs the last decade or so(neither have the Leafs but they can get away with it) the Raps were pretty popular about 10 years ago (“The Vince Carter era”) and then Carter wanted out of town , then their next big star after him ,Chris Bosh wanted out of town too so it’s been topsy-turvy in Toronto.

    5) MLS/TFC -not really ingrained in the sports culture so much…for one thing it’s relatively new;media coverage lags (way)behind the other sports-I’d guess you could probably walk into a sports bar on a Saturday night watching hockey and ask a Leafs fan to name one player on the team-odds are they couldn’t do it,especially if that person is over 30 years old.

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