Study: are Canadian sports fans open to dating rival supporters?

Publish Date:09/27/2023
Fact checked by: Josh Miller

How much do Canadian sports fans prioritize their favourite teams over their love lives? With the NHL season just around the corner, The Grueling Truth wondered if our fellow sports enthusiasts put the accomplishments of their ice hockey heroes above their own dating game. Turns out, more than 1 in 5 would pick a crucial game over a romantic date night with their partner.

Sports heroes over partners

The love for sports can make the heart of many Canadian sports fans melt faster than maple syrup on a hot pancake. In fact, even faster than their love for their partner, it turns out. A whopping 34% of Canadian sports enthusiasts would rather spend a night out with their sports heroes than with their (future) partner, our survey reveals.

Relationship requirements

Anyone who believed that a good sense of humour and a friendly smile were the only requirements for a partner might be in for a surprise. 1 in 10 Canadian sports fans consider it important to very important that their (future) partner supports the same sports team as they do.

The most demanding NHL fans

Among NHL fans in particular, supporters of the Ottawa Senators take the top spot when it comes to prioritizing this aspect. A whopping 22% of them are on the lookout for a partner who shares their team allegiance. Fans of the Vancouver Canucks also show a strong preference at 20%, followed closely by supporters of the Calgary Flames at 16%. For Winnipeg Jets fans, 15% are looking for a partner who supports their team. The fan bases of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens place the least emphasis on this, with only 11%. This shared interest might even spark some friendly discussions, perhaps even involving football betting.

Are we willing to compromise?

When asked if they’d feel at ease attending a sports game with their partner supporting the opposing team, nearly 1 in 10 respondents expressed discomfort. Three percent even stated they wouldn’t consider going to a match if their partner was cheering for the rival team.

Canadian sports fans appear to be slightly more adaptable when it comes to adjusting their home decor and team merchandise. Nineteen percent of respondents said they’re willing to make changes to accommodate their partner’s preferences, while 61% would aim to find a compromise. However, a substantial 20% stated that they are not open to making any alterations. Are you (or your partner) still undecided about which team to cheer for? Check out the top Ontario sports betting sites.


In September 2023, we surveyed 1,237 sports fans from across the country, asking them about the importance of their (potential) partner supporting the same sports team, their preference for an evening out with a sports hero or their partner, and their NHL team loyalty. We also inquired about their willingness to compromise on merchandise choices. Respondents included 54% male, 45% female, and 1% identifying as non-binary, with an average age of 35 years. 71% of participants stated that they are currently in a relationship.

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