NHL Team would boost Southern Ontario and Hamilton economies new poll shows



    Majority feel team would bring added excitement to the region

    TORONTO, June 4 /CNW/ - More than 90 per cent of residents of Hamilton
and the rest of Southern Ontario think a seventh NHL franchise located in that
city would be a boost to the region's businesses and economy, a new survey
shows.
    The survey of residents of Hamilton and the Southern Ontario Region,
including the GTA West, Peel and Halton, was commissioned by PSE Sports &
Entertainment (PSE) and it found that a total of 94 per cent on average agree
that an NHL franchise would be good for area businesses, and 96 per cent said
the team would bring excitement to the region.
    "This research of residents in Hamilton and Southern Ontario reflects a
receptive, affluent, educated consumer marketplace that believes an NHL
franchise will boost the region's economy while making it a more exciting
place to live," said Bill Walker, spokesperson for Jim Balsillie's PSE Sports
and Entertainment, which has tabled a $212.5 million (US) bid to purchase the
bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes NHL franchise and move it to Hamilton's Copps
Coliseum.
    Elsewhere, the poll also found:

    
    -  An average 83 per cent of the region's residents believe the Coyotes
       franchise would be more successful in Hamilton than it is in Phoenix;

    -  A total of 77 per cent in Southern Ontario and 81 per cent of Hamilton
       residents support Balsillie purchasing the team and moving it to
       Hamilton. Most of these supporters say their reason for backing the
       bid is because it would be good for the local economy and good for the
       city and region.

    -  Three-quarters of respondents (74 per cent in Southern Ontario and
       76 per cent in Hamilton) agree that the region is one of the best
       unserved hockey markets in the world.

    The survey was conducted by leading public opinion research firm POLLARA
Inc. The research was conducted among a nationally representative random
sample by telephone between May 11-14, 2009. Results are accurate to within
plus or minus 3.1%, nineteen times out of twenty.


    BACKGROUNDER - POLLING QUESTIONS & RESPONSE BREAKDOWN


                                        Southern    Hamilton        GTA West
                                         Ontario        City  (Peel + Halton)

    Q: Now, I am going to read you some arguments people may make about this
proposed move. For each, please tell me if you strongly agree, somewhat agree,
somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with the argument. "This move would be
good for local businesses in Hamilton?"

    Total Agree                            94%            94%            95%
    Strongly Agree                         70%            76%            70%
    Somewhat Agree                         24%            19%            25%
    Total Disagree                          3%             4%             3%
    Somewhat Disagree                       2%             3%             2%
    Strongly Disagree                       1%             2%             1%
    Don't Know                              2%             2%             2%

    Q: If the Coyotes did move to Hamilton, do you think this would have a
positive impact, a negative impact, or no impact at all on the local economy
in Southern Ontario? Is that a major or a minor positive/negative impact?

    Total Positive                         88%            88%            91%
    Major Positive Impact                  52%            60%            52%
    Minor Positive Impact                  36%            28%            38%
    No Impact At All                        5%             4%             4%
    Total Negative                          2%             3%             2%
    Minor Negative Impact                   1%             2%             1%
    Major Negative Impact                   1%             1%            1%

    Q: Now, I am going to read you some arguments people may make about this
proposed move. For each, please tell me if you strongly agree, somewhat agree,
somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with the argument. How about "An NHL
team would bring a lot of excitement to Hamilton and Southern Ontario?"

    Total Agree                            94%            96%            95%
    Strongly Agree                         71%            78%            72%
    Somewhat Agree                         23%            18%            23%
    Total Disagree                          4%             2%             4%
    Somewhat Disagree                       3%             2%             3%
    Strongly Disagree                       1%  (less than)1%             1%
    Don't Know                              2%             2%             1%

    Q: Now, I am going to read you some arguments people may make about this
proposed move. For each, please tell me if you strongly agree, somewhat agree,
somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with the argument. How about "This
move would be good for the NHL and other NHL teams, since a team in Southern
Ontario would be more successful than one in Phoenix?"

    Total Agree                            83%            85%            81%
    Strongly Agree                         54%            61%            53%
    Somewhat Agree                         28%            24%            28%
    Total Disagree                          8%             6%             9%
    Somewhat Disagree                       4%             4%             5%
    Strongly Disagree                       3%             2%             4%
    Don't Know                              9%             9%            10%

    Q: Now, I am going to read you some arguments people may make about this
proposed move. For each, please tell me if you strongly agree, somewhat agree,
somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with the argument. How about "Southern
Ontario is one of the best unserved hockey markets in the world?"

    Total Agree                            74%            76%            74%
    Strongly Agree                         48%            56%            45%
    Somewhat Agree                         26%            20%            30%
    Total Disagree                         13%            10%            14%
    Somewhat Disagree                      12%             8%            12%
    Strongly Disagree                       2%             2%             2%
    Don't Know                             13%            14%            12%
    Refused                      (less than)1%  (less than)1%  (less than)1%


    Q: Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie has made an offer to buy the Phoenix
Coyotes, an NHL franchise facing bankruptcy. He has indicated he wants to move
the team to Southern Ontario. Do you strongly support, somewhat support,
somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose, Balsillie purchasing the Coyotes and
moving them to Hamilton?

    Total Support                          77%            81%            76%
    Strongly Support                       55%            65%            54%
    Somewhat Support                       22%            16%            22%
    Total Oppose                            6%             5%             7%
    Somewhat Oppose                         3%             1%             4%
    Strongly Oppose                         3%             4%             3%
    Don't Care/No Opinion                  16%            12%            15%

    Q: What would you say is your main reason for supporting this move?

    Canada Deserves Team                   12%             9%             9%
    Good For Local Economy                 18%            23%            17%
    Would Be Good For Hamilton/Area        20%            28%            17%
    Hamilton/Southern Ontario
     Deserves Team                         10%            14%            12%
    Canada Better Hockey Market Than US     7%             2%             7%
    I'm A Hockey Fan                        5%             7%             3%
    Hamilton/SE Ont Better Hockey
     Market Than Phoenix                    5%             2%             7%

    Q: Now, I am going to read you some arguments people may make about this
proposed move. For each, please tell me if it you strongly agree, somewhat
agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with the argument. How about
"Jim Balsillie is a successful businessman and would be a good NHL owner?"

    Total Agree                            73%            78%            71%
    Strongly Agree                         46%            52%            46%
    Somewhat Agree                         27%            26%            25%
    Total Disagree                          4%             4%             3%
    Somewhat Disagree                       2%             1%             2%
    Strongly Disagree                       2%             2%             1%
    Don't Know                             23%            19%            26%
    





For further information:

For further information: Brenna Flynn, Veritas Communications, (416)
955-4581, flynn@veritascanada.com

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