Why Are There Canadian Teams In Professional American Sports? (Find Out Today!)

Last Updated on October 9, 2023 by Alex PT

Canadian teams are in American professional sports leagues due to historical factors and geographic proximity. The Toronto Raptors in the NBA, Toronto Blue Jays in MLB, and others provide a North American presence, expanding the leagues’ reach and fan base.

Why Do American Sports Leagues Like NHL and NBA have Canadian Teams? 

American Sports Leagues Like Nhl And Nba

Well, the NHL is simple to answer because the NHL didn’t expand into Canada. The NHL actually started in Canada, when it had been formed in 1917 out of the remnants of what was the NHA (National Hockey Association) with 4 teams; The Montreal Canadians, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, and therefore the Quebec Bulldogs. This organization later absorbed several U.S. hockey leagues, so technically the NHL expanded into the U.S., not the opposite way around. As for the NBA, they were just trying to find new territory to expand the sport. They know there are a lot of basketball fans in Canada, in order that they figured they’d try a pair of teams up there. 

Are There Canadian Sports Teams? 

Canada may be a proud sporting nation and contains not just some of the world’s most gifted sports stars but also a full host of immensely popular teams. From hockey to lacrosse, the sport may be a big deal for our cousins across the pond, and when visiting Canada there aren’t many better experiences to be had than enjoying an intense game of your preferred sport. There are far too many great teams and franchises to incorporate tired one piece, but we hope this guide will provide you with an introductory glimpse into the wonderful world of Canadian sports teams, and within the process, some ideas for your next holiday to Canada. 

While not a national sport like a hockey game or lacrosse, soccer (or football to us) is the preferred Canadian sport when it involves the speed of participation – FIFA (the sport’s international governing body) says that quite 2.5 million people played soccer within the country in 2006. At present, the most professional league in which Canadian soccer teams compete is big-league Soccer which comprises 23 teams, three of which are from Canada and the other 20 from the US. 

The MLS season runs between March and October and builds towards a post-season playoff system to work out the participants of the championship game and so ultimately the winner of the MLS Cup. 2019 is anticipated to work out the beginning of the Canadian Premier League, which is ready to more closely resemble the European-style club-based system as against the franchise system of the MLS. 

Did Any American Sports Have Canadian Participants? 

American Sports Have Canadian Participants

MLS soccer could be a North American league as is the NHL which has both yank and Canadian teams. NBA is additionally North American which was invented by a Canadian. MLB is additionally a North American sport that expanded into Canada with The Montreal Expos. 

Are There Professional Sports In Canada? 

There are professional teams based in Canada in several professional sports leagues. The National Conference currently has seven Canadian franchises and is the most well-liked professional sports league in Canada. The Canadian League is the only all-Canadian major professional sports league. Big league Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and conference Soccer even have Canadian teams.

Benefits of Canadian Teams in Professional American Sports

Canadian teams participating in American professional sports leagues offer several benefits:

  1. Expanded Market: Canadian teams broaden the leagues’ market reach, tapping into a substantial Canadian fan base. This increases viewership, merchandise sales, and advertising opportunities.
  2. Global Exposure: Canadian teams provide international exposure, showcasing American sports to global audiences, especially hockey and baseball.
  3. Geographic Diversity: Adding Canadian teams enhances the geographic diversity of the leagues, creating regional rivalries and drawing fans from different parts of North America.
  4. Revenue Streams: Games involving Canadian teams generate revenue from ticket sales, concessions, and local partnerships, contributing to league profitability.
  5. Cross-Border Sponsorships: Canadian teams attract sponsors and advertisers from both sides of the border, boosting revenue and the league’s marketability.
  6. Cultural Exchange: The presence of Canadian teams promotes cultural exchange, fostering cross-border friendships and connections.
  7. International Appeal: Canadian teams enhance the leagues’ international appeal, attracting fans from Canada and other countries.
  8. Quality Competition: The inclusion of Canadian teams maintains a competitive balance, ensuring that the leagues feature top talent and teams.
  9. Increased Fan Engagement: Canadian fans bring passion and enthusiasm to the leagues, elevating the overall fan experience.
  10. Event Hosting: Canadian cities host league events, such as All-Star Games and playoffs, expanding the reach of these events.


We’ve compiled an inventory of commonly asked questions and answers concerning Canadian Teams in Professional American Sports. 

Why Does the NHL Have Canadian Teams? 

We get that you simply see this through an American lens but the NHL started in Canada in 1917, thus the National bit refers to Canada. American teams were added afterward with the Boston Bruins being the primary US team added in 1924. 

Has There Ever Been A Canadian Team Within The NFL? 

While Toronto has been home to American football game teams including the Continental Football Leagues Toronto Rifles from 1965 to 1967, no NFL has ever been based within the city. However, there have been numerous efforts to bring an NFL club to Toronto over the past 40 years. 

Why Is There A Canadian Team in the NBA? 

The reason why Toronto encompasses a team is that it’s the foremost recognized and populated city in Canada. The NBA is accustomed to having another Canadian team called the Vancouver Grizzlies, but they have since been relocated to Memphis. 

Why Is There No Canadian NFL team? 

In the 1980s, the USFL (competing league to the NFL) was visiting put a squad in Canada. The Canadian government passed a law that an American football team couldn’t be based in Canada farewell because the CFL existed. 

What Is The Foremost Popular Sport In Canada? 

Ice Hockey is basically considered the foremost popular sport in Canada because the game itself was named the official national sport within the North American country. 


Because Canada is a component of North America. There’s also a really important economic factor cities like Toronto and Vancouver can support professional sports teams by providing an oversized enough fan base.



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