Hamilton is the sport business capital of Canada for fall and winter

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Opinion: Hamilton gets the headliner on Dec. 14 when he gets his long-awaited Gray Cup date at Tim Hortons Field.

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Bulls of the week

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Toronto has its full complement of professional sports teams, Montreal and Vancouver are the second and third largest markets in the country, and Calgary has its scorching Flames, but it’s Hamilton that is going full steam ahead as arguably the sporting center of the world. most important of Canada – at least in the next two months.

It all started this weekend as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats host the Montreal Alouettes in the Eastern semifinals of the CFL playoffs. Winner or lose, Hamilton tops the bill on Dec. 14 when he gets his long-awaited Gray Cup date at Tim Hortons Field. This is the first time in 25 years that the Ticats have hosted the Cup.

Six weeks later, the same field will be the focus of an average national television audience expected to be north of a million football fans when Canada faces the United States in the next home game of the regional qualifying tournament. of CONCACAF for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Hamilton was somewhat surprising as the host of this golden opportunity and he was chosen ahead of the retractable roofs of BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton and BMO Field in Toronto.

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Canadian head coach John Herdman was reportedly emboldened by his team’s performance in the freezing temperatures in Edmonton earlier this month and believed an Eastern time zone location would optimize Canada’s chances when he assembled his roster of players from their European football clubs and took his unbeaten record of four wins and four draws in the showdown with the Americans.

Still, make no mistake, popular Tiger-Cat owner Bob Young and his longtime deputy Scott Mitchell had some weight in the selection. Young is also the primary owner of Forge FC, Hamilton’s impressive Canadian Premier League franchise, and has literally helped forge the Hamilton-based Canadian Soccer Business as the marketing and sales arm of Canada Soccer. Mitchell is CEO. And if that’s not enough, Hamilton is also essentially the home of the Canadian Elite Basketball League, the very young professional league entering its fourth season this spring.

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If all that isn’t enough to crown Hamilton as Canada’s Sports Capital for this fall and winter, then move forward until March 13, when Tim Hortons Field hosts its namesake, the Tim Hortons Heritage Classic, an outdoor showdown. between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabers.

Bear of the week

As the Flames and Edmonton Oilers kick off the weekend with the Western Conference’s two best records and the Leafs put on a hot streak that catapulted them into the race for the best record in the East , the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks continue to be the tire lights of this NHL season, at least among the Canada-based Group of 7 clubs.

Only the rebuilding Ottawa Senators (nine points) and the Arizona Coyotes (10) have worse records than the Canucks (14) and Habs (12). The starts in Vancouver and Montreal are so bad that some fans have already turned their attention to the NHL Draft Lottery and who has the best chance of landing top prospect Shane Wright of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs in the summer. next. And it’s not even December!

Tom Mayenknecht, Director of Marketing Communications and Sports Commentator, is Director of Emblematica Brand Builders and host of The Sport Market on BNN Bloomberg Radio 1410 and TSN Radio nationally. Follow Mayenknecht on: twitter.com/TheSportMarket.

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