A study commissioned by Soccer Quebec and the Regional Association of Soccer Quebec (ARSQ) has revealed some promising statistics regarding a hypothetical Canadian Premier League expansion club in Quebec City.
The study conducted by Leger found that just about two out of three residents (64%, to be exact) are in favour of the region hosting a Canadian Premier League team.
The league was reportedly close with multiple ownership groups in Quebec stretching as far back as 2019, with former Canadian international Alex Bunbury having previously implied that a Quebec City team was en route and a former CPL analyst calling it a no-brainer.
Nothing concrete has taken hold yet, though the recent study shows that the province’s regional soccer body are closely monitoring the possibility.
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The study also showed that almost half of the Quebec City region respondents aged 18-34 said they are soccer fans, and 63% of polled residents with children at home said their main reason for attending a game would be to go with the family.
While the locals show plenty of positivity about the subject, the biggest barrier to entry right now is finding an investor with the capital to back the project and, afterwards, securing a suitable stadium ground.
Unsurprisingly, the soccer-centric members of the ARSQ polled an astonishingly high 96% in favour of a CPL team in the region, but that isn’t indicative of the population at large – nor was it disclosed how many members of the public were polled outside of the ARSQ membership.
Perhaps the only item really clanging alarm bells from the survey is that just 28% of people polled knew about the league at the time of the survey, with 32% of the polled ARSQ members also having been unaware.
While the league has begun pushing bilingual content for Atletico Ottawa, it’s fair to say there’s still a lot of work to do to capture the French-speaking domestic market at large.
Of those polled who did know of the CPL, however, 86% want Quebec City to host a team.
“These are encouraging results that confirm the interest of the greater Quebec City area in hosting a professional soccer team,” said Philippe Bernard, Executive Director of the Quebec City Regional Soccer Association.
Those who responded to the poll also felt a strong sense that the province’s identity be reflected in the composition of the team, with 70% stating that the presence of Quebecois players was important, and 61% echoing that sentiment for the coaching staff.
“This is a good thing, because one of Soccer Quebec’s strategic objectives is to facilitate professional opportunities for both players and coaches,” explained Mathieu Chamberland, Soccer Quebec’s General Manager. “In fact, the Canadian Premier League already has about 30 players from Quebec, including several top players.”
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Chamberland states that Soccer Quebec will take time to analyze the date, with the organization’s working group organizing a mandate to further examine the feasibility of the project and the necessary financial arrangements behind it.
The Canadian Premier League is set to wrap up its fourth season at the end of the month. The league currently has eight teams and is on course to add Langley next year, with expansions in Windsor and Saskatoon pending stadium arrangements.
It’s not all trending upwards, however, with the survival of FC Edmonton up in the air after two tough seasons without an owner at the helm.
Source: Soccer Quebec