Top Sports Events in Canada 2015

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We’ve used survey data from CROP to sketch a portrait of the relationship between Canadians and cultural and sports entertainment. Learn about consumer trends and preferences according to various demographic groups and Canada’s different regions.

Hockey is the undisputed winner as our favourite national sport, with 76% of Canadians attending a game in the last two years (all leagues combined). Coming in a distant second—a full 40 point behind—is football at 36%, with baseball taking third place for attendance with 31%.

Despite the growing popularity of soccer playing among Canadian youth, attendance of the sport—which ranks 4th at 16%—isn’t following suit. British Columbia leads the nation in soccer attendance with 33%, followed by Quebec at 23%, placing both provinces well above the national average.

Car racing comes in next with a 12% attendance rate among Canadian event-goers in the last two years. Surprisingly, only 2% attended an extreme sports event, which might be explained by the high availability of televised and online content.

Sports in need of rejuvenation:

There are two sports that need to start appealing to a younger demographic in order to secure their future, namely car racing, a popular pick for the 45-54 age group, and curling, a sport favoured by those 65+.

The same three sports top the list of favourites for Canadians in the 18-24 and 65+ age groups, which offers great potential for bridging the gap between the generations!

18-24:

  1. Hockey (90%)
  2. Football (44%)
  3. Baseball (41%)

65+:

  1. Hockey (52%)
  2. Football (38%)
  3. Baseball (30%)

Cultural distinctions among the provinces

Hockey is most popular in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, with a 92% attendance rate. Quebec ranks second-to-last at 73% (trailed only by Ontario at 67%), coming in below the national average of 76%.

Alberta is the country’s football capital with a rate of attendance of 67%.

New arrivals to Canada are adopting our national sports culture: 64% of them who attended an event in the last two years attended a hockey game, as compared to 78% of native-born Canadians. However, sports with a stronger following outside Canada, such as soccer, appeal to them at a higher rate (51%) than they do to Canadian-born event-goers (9%).

CROP Panorama Program

Web survey conducted November 21, 2014, to January 4, 2015, with 2,284 Canadians aged 18 years and up
 (1,042 respondents in Quebec).

ABOUT CROP

A leader in marketing research and public opinion polling, CROP is active in a diverse range of fields, including marketing, communications, public affairs, human resources and management. Established in 1965, CROP has made consumer and public behaviour and psychology its key area of expertise.

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