The Cost Of Following Toronto’s Sports Franchises

Updated: 103 Other

Steve Madgwick Editor-In-Chief

Editor-In-Chief with 20 years experience covering the betting angles to breaking news stories. Daily slots player, Portsmouth fan and League Snooker Player

What is a superfan? By dictionary definition it can be signified as follows: 

“a person who has an extreme or obsessive admiration for a particular person or thing”.

In sporting circles, this usually means lending your support to a franchise in every possible way. You buy the season ticket, you certainly purchase all the merchandise, and you are always full after a trip to the pre-match food stands.

Ken Lund from Reno, Nevada, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Every Canadian dollar you can call your own soon becomes the possession of your favourite sporting entity. You would do everything in your power to help your idols win both matches and end-of-season trophies.

But in all of this, there is perhaps another level for showing your ability to be a superfan. A level that comes with following your superstars on the road and when it comes to Canadian-based franchises, this can mean a lot of kilometres. 

Not only a lot of kilometres but also a lot of time and certainly a lot of expense and this begs another pertinent question. How much does it cost to be a superfan? One that wants to follow Toronto’s finest away from home.

What is a Superfan?

“a person who has an extreme or obsessive admiration for a particular person or thing”.

That is the question that is often asked within sporting circles and although it is unlikely to be something that costs relatively little, it is often challenging to come up with an exact answer.

That is until now and for those who consider themselves fans of each of Toronto’s major franchises (those that compete in wider North American competition), you may want to try and locate $50,000 across the next year or so.

Because that is the figure required to follow the Maple Leafs, Blue Jays, Raptors and FC across each of their respective seasons. An eye-watering cost it must be said, but this figure is the far simplified version.

Canadian Sports Franchises Popularity by Social Media Fans

Canadian Sports Franchises Popularity by Social Media Fans

To get such a figure we have crafted this particular methodology:

  1. Log the distance between Toronto and the opposition city.

  2. Log the flight time required (direct or indirect)

  3. Log the cost of the flight time (Canadian dollars)

While there are some rules regarding the flight time/cost. Because not all flights will be direct, there are two sub rules to consider:

  1. If the flight is direct, the cheapest cost is taken first and then the time required.

  2. If the flight is indirect, the quickest total time is taken first and then the cost.

Even though there are multiple road trips per season in leagues such as MLB, NBA, and NHL, only one trip to each opposition city is logged in our dataset.

While there is another hugely important aspect to consider in all of this. The expenditure does NOT include the ticket, the merchandise, the trip to the pre-match food stands.

Now that these rules have been set out, here are the overall results in terms of being a Toronto superfan: 

League Km Minutes Flight Cost Can $
Toronto MLB 55958 5780 $13,513.60
Toronto NBA 58356 6317 $13,674.32
Toronto NHL 58483 6094 $11,663.68
Toronto MLS 56791 5607 $12,008.08
Total 229588 23798 $50,859.68

$50,0000 Canadian dollars or $50,859.68 to be precise. That is the travel cost required to see each of the four main Toronto franchises play once on the road in each competition. Not only would it cost that much in money, but there would be a huge cost in terms of time.

23,798 minutes or 396.63 hours would be required in terms of time spent. A considerable amount of free time or at least an incredibly understanding boss would also be required before finding $50,000+ down the back of your couch. 

Toronto - Artem Zavarzin // Shutterstock

Of course, there is going to be a considerable impact on the environment and if you decided to lend to your support to Toronto’s famous four, you would begin to rack up the air miles along the way. Instead of miles, it is kilometres which acts as the measure, and you would be travelling 229,588.

Considering that a flight from Toronto to Sydney is 15,566km on its own, the total distance would be making that trip 15 times over. Then again, if you are to be a superfan, then you will do whatever it takes.

Even if you were to pick just one of these four sports, a single season-long pursuit is not going to be cheap either. Want to follow the Raptors to NBA glory, that is going to cost you just under $14,000; the same can be said for the Blue Jays and the MLB.

The Cost of Die-Hard Support

$14,000 would be a reasonable expectation for an entire season of supprt

While you may be able to save some money if your focus is switched to the Maple Leafs and although you will be $2,000 better off, multiple trips across Canada are actually going to cost you more in terms of kilometres travelled.

Then again, we should not overlook Toronto FC and their ardent support in the MLS. If you want to groundhop next season and tick off each away ground in the league, you will need to raise $12,000 beforehand. 

Now though, we can look at each of the four franchises in further detail and see where the most expensive trips lie: 

MLB Most Expensive Trips

Opposition Km Minutes Flight Cost Can $
Texas Rangers 2283 215 857.72
Oakland Athletics 4212 554 713.4
San Diego Padres 4140 338 710.12
Houston Astros 2468 229 606.8
Seattle Mariners 4156 328 577.28

When looking at the five most expensive trips for Blue Jays fans, the Texas Rangers will swallow up $857.72 of your budget. While the Oakland A’s and San Diego Padres are not offering little change from $750 each.

Add in another trip to Texas for the Houston Astros and that almost four-hour flight is going to set you back just over $600 and a five-hour plus flight to see the Blue Jays face the Seattle Mariners is going to cost you $577.

Top 10 Wealthiest Canadian Athletes 2023

Top 10 Wealthiest Canadian Athletes 2023

NBA Most Expensive Trips

Opposition Km Minutes Flight Cost Can $
New Orleans Pelicans 2085 185 859.36
Dallas Mavericks 2283 215 857.72
Sacramento Kings 4082 486 651.08
Oklahoma City Thunder 2070 304 644.52
Houston Rockets 2468 229 606.8

In terms of the Raptors, just over three hours in the air to New Oreland is going to cost you just north of $850. With that being said, three and half hours and the eventual destination of Dallas is going to breach the same benchmark.

Just over eight hours travel time to finally arrive in Sacramento is going to cost you $650 and just over five hours to get to see the Raptors go up against the Oklahoma City Thunder, is going to cost you just under $650. Not forgetting the $606 you will spend to get to Houston. 

NBA Awards Betting Odds 2022 - Odds & Predictions

NBA Awards Betting Odds 2022 - Odds & Predictions

NHL Most Expensive Trips

Opposition Km Minutes Flight Cost Can $
Dallas Stars 2283 215 857.72
Buffalo Sabres 159 354 624.84
Columbus Blue Jackets 687 83 619.92
Seattle Kraken 4156 328 577.28
Florida Panthers 970 248 565.8

As far as the NHL is concerned, it is another expensive trip to Texas that will lighten your wallet the most. 215 minutes to get from Toronto to Dallas and the Stars playing host to the Maple Leafs is going to cost $857.

Just under six hours to finally arrive in Buffalo and that is going to cost you $624. 83 minutes by comparison to arrive in Columbus and you are only saving $5 dollars for your efforts. Which means you may as well enjoy yourself and pay just under $600 to go to see the Kraken or Panthers instead. 

The Influence of Canadian Players in the NHL

The Influence of Canadian Players in the NHL

MLS Most Expensive Trips

Opposition Km Minutes Flight Cost Can $
FC Dallas 2283 215 857.72
Austin FC 2596 217 624.84
Columbus Crew 687 83 619.92
Houston Dynamo FC 2468 229 606.8
Seattle Sounders FC 4156 328 577.28

As for those who follow Toronto FC with great interest, once again it is Dallas that is top of this expensive shop. However, it is Austin that are a new entry and just over three and a half hours of travel time is going to cost you $624.

Another short but expensive trip to Columbus can also be expected, along with lengthy and expensive sojourns to both Houston and Seattle. It is not easy or cost effective to follow this soccer team across the border.

There you have it, if you want to truly support one of Toronto’s biggest franchises or maybe even all four of them. You are going to need anywhere between $12,000 and $50,0000. That and a real passion for airplane food. Best of luck! 

One area of fan spend we haven't covered in this research is sports betting. With legal online sportsbooks growing in Ontario , many fans will have a bet on their favourite team. So maybe the cost of following your favourite Ontario franchise can be reduced or increased depending on their success! Perhaps that's one for a future study. In the meantime here is some other content you may be interested in. 

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