In October 2010 an astounding 22,114 fans jam packed the Bell Centre in Montreal to see the Toronto Raptors play their final Pre-season game of the year. That’s right 22,114 people came out in Montreal to see an NBA preseason game!!
To help you understand how monumental of an achievement this is, let me put it into perspective: the Chicago Bulls are currently averaging the highest attendance in the league, and why not right? They are one heck of a storied franchise and they are an elite team in the East.
So how many fans are they averaging per home game this season…21,613 people.
What does this mean? It means the Toronto Raptors were able to surpass the team with the highest regular season attendance in the league this season while playing…
1. A preseason game and
2. In another city to boot, which technically made them the road team.
What can this tell us about the future of NBA basketball in Montreal? Well at the very least, it tells us that there is some pretty big potential for NBA success in Montreal.
This incredible display of support for Canada’s basketball team is a perfect testament to the passion of Montreal sports fans as well as Canadian sports fans as a whole.
An NBA team in Montreal would never overcome hockey as the dominant sport in the city, yet I would argue that given time to grow and develop it would certainly become very popular in Montreal and it would be able to draw a huge crowd like the best of them!