Canada could support the Toronto Raptors and a second franchise

Toronto Raptors: We the North (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors: We the North (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors: Toronto (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

Could the GTA support a second franchise?

Considering the size of the City of Toronto and the surrounding area, it isn’t outrageous to consider housing a second team. STAPLES Center has been the home of the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and WNBA team Los Angeles Sparks for years. New York also has two NBA teams, the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets as well as the WNBA New York Liberty.

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has more than enough people to support another basketball team. Toronto has a population of 2.93 million. The GTA is at 5.928 million. Thanks to the popularity of the sport, there is a good chance that plenty of people from even outside the area would travel to see games in person and certainly watch on television.

If the NBA were to expand or a team moved, the GTA should be in consideration. Whether it landed in Toronto proper or a suburb like Markham or Hamilton, each of which was explored as potential NHL homes, there is credibility to the argument that the cities could support an NBA team.

Hamilton is particularly interesting geographically because it could attract fans from both the Toronto area and even Buffalo. With only approximately an hour drive for each of the cities, FirstOntario  Centre might be an ideal home for a new NBA franchise. The arena can already fit up to 18,500 spectators and was host to the Canadian Elite Basketball League.

Even London, Ontario, a city that is approximately a two-hour drive from Toronto could be a good fit. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. They regularly sell out Major Junior hockey games at Budweiser Gardens so a professional basketball team would certainly gain great support.