New Research on Canadian Sports Fans’ Optimism and Dedication to Travel

  • 95% of Canadian sports fans have completed between one and five trips in the last year to watch their team play live, with hockey fans being the most likely to travel to show their support 
  • 31% of Canadian sports fans happily admit that they would be willing to pay more for sports travel than their family vacation

Toronto, ON – November 20, 2019 –With major sporting events like the World Figure Skating Championship taking place in Montreal, Quebec in 2020, the new decade’s debut year is set to be an exciting one for sports. Fans are already gearing up to travel and watch their favourite teams and athletes compete on the global stage.

As excitement builds, reveals how far Canadian sports fans they would go to make sure they can travel to watch their team’s big moment live, how this influences their travel behaviours and what matters to them most when selecting their home away from home for these momentous occasions.

Canadian sports fans look ahead to 2020 with great expectations

25% of Canadian sports fans believe that they will see their national team or player win an international tournament within the next year. The expectation level is therefore huge within fan sets as they prepare for tournament after tournament in 2020.

Dedicated fans will cancel anything to ensure they can travel to watch their team

A combination of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and dedication to showing their support in the stadium results in unwavering commitment. Nearly 1 in 5 (19%) Canadian sports fans admit they would happily cancel their honeymoon if it meant they could travel to watch their team live in a major game. Similarly, almost 1 in 5 (16%) Canadian sports fans confess that they would even quit their jobs if it meant they could watch their team compete in a major final or event.

Travel planning for the big match

Travelling to see their team live in action is a clear priority for many Canadian sports fans, with a whopping 95% confirming they have completed between one to five trips in the last year alone and almost two-thirds (64%) declaring they plan to travel both domestically and internationally to watch their team or player in the future. In line with our Canadian reputation, hockey is the sport that gets most fans on the road with 52% of Canadian sports fans having travelled to watch a game live.

Once they know which games they will be travelling to, fans start looking for the perfect place to stay. Topping the list of considerations when looking for the perfect accommodations are affordability (77%) and location (74%) in relation to the stadium or venue, while half (50%) look for accommodations that have a spa or hot tub to relax in post-match.

Despite affordability being important for Canadian sports fans, 31% happily admit that they would be willing to pay more for sports travel than their family vacation.

Showing support on match day

Over a quarter (27%) of Canadian sports fans wear lucky charms when attending a game, while 18% have developed a superstitious routine that they always perform before or during a game to ensure their team wins.

Aside from having rituals, 76% of Canadian sport fans say they would never leave a game early, regardless of whether they thought their team was going to lose – 40% stay out of respect for the team or players, whereas 35% stay because they will not give up hope that their team or player can still come back and turn the game around.


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Research commissioned by and independently conducted among a sample size of 22,603 sports fans (with a skew towards football fans in panel recruitment) aged 18 or over in 29 markets (including 1,000 each from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, China, Brazil, India, US, UK, Russia, Indonesia, Colombia and South Korea; and 500 each from New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Taiwan, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore and Israel). Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th August and 2nd September 2019.


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