Overwhelming support for moving Coyotes to Hamilton: new poll shows



    Majority confident Balsillie can bring the team to Canada

    TORONTO, May 18 /CNW/ - The bid for a seventh Canadian NHL franchise
continues to gather momentum, with a new survey showing overwhelming support
across Canada for the proposal to re-locate the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton.
    A nationally representative survey of 1,009 Canadians commissioned by PSE
Sports & Entertainment (PSE) found a whopping 87% of respondents agree that
Canada deserves another NHL team because Canadians are the best hockey fans
and fully 72% support the bid by Jim Balsillie and PSE to buy the bankrupt
Phoenix NHL franchise and move the club to Hamilton.
    Further, the survey shows that support for the Balsillie bid to move the
Coyotes to Hamilton is deep across the country including 86% in Atlantic
Canada and Ontario, 83% in British Columbia and 70% in the Prairies. While
familiarity with the bid is low in Quebec, where 29% say they have no opinion,
a majority (54%) still support the bid.
    From coast to coast, increasingly Canadians believe the bid will be
successful. A majority of respondents (53%) expressed confidence in
Balsillie's ability to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Canada.
    "This shows, in quantifiable terms, the phenomenal degree of support for
bringing a seventh NHL team to Canada," said Bill Walker, spokesperson for
Balsillie's PSE Sports and Entertainment, which is mounting the bid. "Further
it demonstrates that the support is nationwide to bring a team to southern
Ontario - the biggest un-served hockey market in North America."

    
    Elsewhere, the poll also found:

    -  78% agree that the move would benefit the rest of the NHL, since a
       team in southern Ontario would be more successful than the Coyotes
       have been during their time in Phoenix. Only nine per cent disagreed.

    -  Similarly, 77% disagreed with the suggestion that the team should stay
       in Phoenix to help the NHL build popularity in the U.S.
    

    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

    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  72%
      Strongly Support  44%
      Somewhat Support  27%
    Total Oppose  7%
      Somewhat Oppose  3%
      Strongly Oppose  4%
    Don't Care/No Opinion  20%
    Don't Know  1%
    Refused  (less than)1%
    

    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 the NHL and other NHL teams, since a team in
Southern Ontario would be more successful than one in Phoenix?

    
    Total Agree  78%
      Strongly Agree  48%
      Somewhat Agree  30%
    Total Disagree  9%
      Somewhat Disagree  6%
      Strongly Disagree  3%
    Don't Know  12%
    Refused  (less than)1%
    

    For the NHL to succeed, it needs to have successful teams in the United
States, so they're better off staying in Phoenix?

    
    Total Agree  12%
      Strongly Agree  5%
      Somewhat Agree  7%
    Total Disagree  77%
      Somewhat Disagree  29%
      Strongly Disagree  48%
    Don't Know  11%
    Refused  (less than)1%
    

    Canada deserves another NHL team, since Canadians are the best hockey
fans?

    
    Total Agree  87%
      Strongly Agree  62%
      Somewhat Agree  25%
    Total Disagree  8%
      Somewhat Disagree  5%
      Strongly Disagree  3%
    Don't Know  5%
    Refused  (less than)1%
    

    Jim Balsillie will be successful with this bid and will succeed in moving
the Coyotes to Southern Ontario?

    
    Total Agree  53%
      Strongly Agree  17%
      Somewhat Agree  36%
    Total Disagree  20%
      Somewhat Disagree  14%
      Strongly Disagree  6%
    Don't Know  27%
    Refused  1%
    





For further information:

For further information: Brenna Flynn, Veritas Communications, (416)
955-4581, (647) 822-4552, flynn@veritascanada.com

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