Markham, which is part of the Greater Toronto Area, plans to build an arena worthy of an NHL team. The city council voted 11-2 to borrow $162.5 million for the project. An additional $162.5 million will be provided by GTA Sports and Entertainment.
GTA Sports and Entertainment has already been in contact with the NHL, but deputy commissioner Bill Daly has warned them not to make assumptions. While there might be an appetite for a second GTA team, this won’t be as simple as: “If you build it, they will come.”
The NHL will likely be reluctant to locate a second team so close to the Maple Leafs and even within Canada, Markham is probably not the NHL’s first choice should a team needs to be relocated. Still, Toronto is a big and hockey-crazy market. It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility that they’d be able to support two teams within driving distance of each other.