A few things to note are that the Wolfpack are in their 3rd year of existence, vs the Arrows' first. TWP also joined an established league.
Now, TWP did start with higher attendances from the start than the Arrows have, but we don't really have a comparison until the Arrows play at Lamport (they finish the second half of their home games at Lamport starting this Sunday). I'm not expecting 6k even then, since the Arrows, and MLR in general, is on a lower marketing, and general budget than TWP, who are far outspending everyone in every league they've been in to try to make it into Super League.
It's my opinion that a very large amount of TWP's early success is due to "any rugby is better than no rugby". To their credit, they've backed that up with a fantastic game day atmosphere and a winning team to keep that ball rolling. They got to the marketplace first, and that has huge value.
Now, however, things are a bit different. As I should have better stated in my earlier comment, it's not that the Arrows in Toronto will have an attendance effect on a RL team in Ottawa, it's that MLR's existence as a going concern in North America has an effect on the rugby scene in general. There are some fairly big concerns about the sustainability of playing in a league across the ocean. Currently TWP have a sponsorship with Air Transat that pays for all their flights as well as visiting teams. Will that be indefinite? Will Ottawa, or the New York bid also applying to the RFL, have that same luxury? Costs could be mitigated if teams coming to North America can play 2 or three games while here, but with a P/R system in place in rugby league those efficiencies would constantly be at risk.
Then there's the "overseas league" aspect. On the one hand, Canadians are used to having the only team or few teams in a foreign league. But until now that has always been the USA. Does it continue to hold up when it's across the ocean? Or will more people enjoying having knowledge about their rival cities. MLR right now is in Austin, Houston, New Orleans, New York, San Diego, Seattle, Denver (Glendale which an independent enclave), and Salt Lake City, adding New England, DC, and Atlanta next year. All cities which the average sports fan is used to, and all "major league" cities, not Bethlehem or Shreveport. The RFL Championship this year is Batley, Barrow, Bradford, Dewsbury, Featherstone, Halifax (UK), Leigh, Rochdale, Sheffield, Swinton, Toulouse (France), Widnes, and York. Of those, I'd only ever heard of York and Sheffield before paying attention to rugby league. Of the Super League teams the only one with previously recognizable names to me are Leeds and London. That's not to say that there aren't fans who appreciate that smaller towns in England get into the big leagues, and like learning about them, but that isn't everybody and it's hard to look past the familiarity that the usual North American cities bring. We're here pumped about the CPL because it's all Canada and not shared with the US. This is one step removed, where I'm happy it's North America and not another continent.
Also trying to bring this into the neighbourhood of "on topic", the Arrows are as "by Canadians, for Canadians" as you can get. 33 out of 40 on the roster are Canadian, the majority from Ontario. They were born out of professionalizing the Ontario Blues provincial team, and therefore have the pretty much automatic support of Rugby Ontario, Rugby Canada, and all of the clubs. TWP had one Canadian who left for Canada 7's instead. This is now the pathway, ans well as a much larger base of potential long term support.
All of this to say that I think Eric Perez, the guy behind TWP and now Ottawa, has done a great sales job on his investors, but I seriously doubt the long-term prospects of pro rugby league in Canada or North America. The RFL seems to be fairly poorly run, opting for short term solutions that only end up hurting it. They tried to charge the Catalans Dragon half million pounds to enter the Challenge Cup this year, after having won it last year, out of worry about ticket sales. That isn't to say MLR doesn't have it's own issues, one or two teams could be gone in a couple years, but they seem much more long term focused. I think best-case for rugby is that Toronto and maybe New York manage to be sustainable to continue playing in England indefinitely, but in the long run domestic, CanAm rugby union will overtake that.
(Back to your regularly scheduled soccer programming 😳 )