Toronto, the 5th largest city in North America, is perceived as either a hockey town, small market, or just an unappealing place to play because it’s north of the border. However, people don’t realize that it ranks right up there with Chicago, New York, and the other major media cities of the states, and is actually quite a nice city. The sports market is huge, as the Toronto Maple Leafs sell out every game and the Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Raptors usually get above average attendance for all of their games.
The most impressive thing about that is, all of these teams have struggled for quite some time now. The last time the Raptors made the playoffs was in 2008, only exit in the first round. 2004 was the last Leafs playoff run, and they have been quite dismal ever since, yet the Toronto market thrives for entertainment so they sell out regardless. The last time the Jays made the playoffs was when they won the world series in 1993, and while they have been solid, they haven’t been good enough to make the playoffs. Yet somehow, these teams continue to sell tickets.
The large market in Toronto is waiting for a winner, and this year, the Raptors just may be able to provide that. With a revamped roster filled with a ton of new weapons, the Raptors haven’t looked this good since the Vince Carter era. Yes, I said it.
Kyle Lowry and Andrea Bargnani give them two legitimate all-star candidates, and DeMar DeRozan playing in his contract year is ready to break out. Rookie Jonas Valanciunas will give them the defensive center they have lacked for years now, and the Raptors seem to have all the makings of a solid playoff team.
With the season right around the corner, the city is oozing with excitement. With the NHL lockout, the Raptors should receive even more attention, and will finally provide the city of Toronto a winner.
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