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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Could Your City Give a Sports Team a Good Home?

As far as MLB goes, unless your city is either in California’s Inland Empire region or is a humongous metropolis that already has a team, apparently not.  (Listed as “marginal” are Montreal; Las Vegas; and the “Gold Coast” of Connecticut.)

“Total personal income(TPI)”: the sum of all money earned by all residents of an area in a given year. Using team revenue data and average ticket prices one can calculate amount of TPI needed to adequately support a team in each north american professional sports league.

“Available personal income(API)”: simply TPI less the cost it takes to support the city’s pro teams. If API is positive, it means that you are good to go for a franchise.

Graphic here.

The District Attorney Posted: December 27, 2011 at 06:21 AM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business

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   1. John DiFool2 Posted: December 27, 2011 at 02:35 PM (#4023821)
Oh well, Boston can't support a ML team: say hello to your 2013 Hartford Red Sox!
   2. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 27, 2011 at 02:44 PM (#4023825)
The MLS should expand to about 40 teams, I guess.
   3. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 27, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#4023827)
As with most numbers only analysis, it is useful as a beginning and not at all as an end point. For example I am pretty sure the Inland Empire is Laker country and the Wolves would get very little support there. But it was interesting none the less.
   4. Flynn Posted: December 27, 2011 at 03:32 PM (#4023835)
I stopped reading once he talked about baseball decreasing in popularity, which was generous of me after his chart decided that Boston, Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area are incapable of supporting an MLB team.
   5. SOLockwood Posted: December 27, 2011 at 03:38 PM (#4023836)
Doesn't the chart examine the ability to support another MLB team?
   6. BDC Posted: December 27, 2011 at 03:41 PM (#4023837)
Hey, Houston can support a second team. Put an NL expansion team there for Lisa to follow and all will be well.
   7. UCCF Posted: December 27, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#4023848)
Doesn't the chart examine the ability to support another MLB team?

Yeah, that's what the API is - the TPI minus the cost it takes to already support the teams that are there.

According to the chart, MLB could put almost 7 more franchises in NYC and still expect them to be financially viable. That's an excellent idea, and I'm sure ESPN would endorse it. They'd never again have to stoop to showing a game that didn't involve at least 1 NYC team.
   8. Ebessan Posted: December 27, 2011 at 04:32 PM (#4023864)
Philadelphia's "marginal". Suck it, Boston!
   9. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: December 27, 2011 at 04:46 PM (#4023868)
Things I learned reading this piece:

-Atlanta can support a NHL team;

-Winnepeg (sic) can't support a NHL team, but gets the benefit of the doubt in NHL mad Canada (when the franchise was moved from Atlanta to Winnipeg last summer, seasons ticket for the first three seasons were gone in 15 minutes);

-Montreal could support a NBA team (that made me laugh).
   10. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 27, 2011 at 05:17 PM (#4023882)
I learned that Green Bay currently has 0.3 sports teams, while Milwaukee claims .7 of the Packers.
   11. Mayor Blomberg Posted: December 27, 2011 at 05:44 PM (#4023892)
#3 - and that's also, as is regularly pointed out here, the problem with the put another team in NY argument.

Still, if one reads for what it proposes instead of going immediately to nit-picks -- not you, but the people who can't distinguish between supporting a team/supporting another team or forget that Winnipeg already had and lost a team, or that new teams/new stadia work for a while -- it's a useful exercise.

The only thing that jumped out at me as problem with using the numbers by themselves was that while, yes, StL could clear its API debt by losing its MLB franchise, they're a special case, the mid-market team all similarly situated teams want to be, and were I pushed to balance the city's books I'd choose between the Rams and (more likely) the Blues to close the gap.
   12. base ball chick Posted: December 27, 2011 at 05:58 PM (#4023895)
well MY city could certainly give a ML team a good home, but bud selig figures it is fine to have a terrible AAAA team there in perpetuity instead
   13. puck Posted: December 27, 2011 at 06:28 PM (#4023904)
Nice to see it in a chart form. I saw a Business Journal article on the topic linked on another site, where Denver is the most overextended market. The attendance figures of the non-Broncos teams do tend to bounce around a lot.
   14. musial6 Posted: December 27, 2011 at 06:41 PM (#4023910)
The only thing that jumped out at me as problem with using the numbers by themselves was that while, yes, StL could clear its API debt by losing its MLB franchise, they're a special case, the mid-market team all similarly situated teams want to be, and were I pushed to balance the city's books I'd choose between the Rams and (more likely) the Blues to close the gap.


The Rams can opt out of their lease in 2015. LA will have a stadium by then. The writing has been on the wall for some time.
   15. Guapo Posted: December 27, 2011 at 06:42 PM (#4023913)
Finally, the excuse the NHL needs to expand to Honolulu.
   16. John DiFool2 Posted: December 27, 2011 at 07:16 PM (#4023924)
That's what I get for posting while getting ready for work.

I wonder if central NC would be viable if you combined all the cities in the megalopolis in question-tho apparently they don't have much in the way of extra income acc. to the chart, and the state GOP shot down the high-speed rail project that would have connected them.
   17. TerpNats Posted: December 27, 2011 at 07:35 PM (#4023937)
The Rams can opt out of their lease in 2015. LA will have a stadium by then. The writing has been on the wall for some time.
So for 2016, the Rams can celebrate the 70th anniversary of their arrival in Los Angeles by playing their 50th season in southern California -- and I still think the NFL will end up in City of Industry, or whatever it's called these days.
   18. TerpNats Posted: December 27, 2011 at 07:37 PM (#4023938)
I wonder if central NC would be viable if you combined all the cities in the megalopolis in question -- tho apparently they don't have much in the way of extra income acc. to the chart, and the state GOP shot down the high-speed rail project that would have connected them.
I could see it now -- an MLB stadium in Asheboro (which I believe is somewhat equidistant from the Triangle, Triad and Charlotte), next door to the state zoo. Talk about a tourism complex!
   19. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 27, 2011 at 07:55 PM (#4023946)
I wonder if central NC would be viable if you combined all the cities in the megalopolis in question ...

The interesting question about this is how much it would cannibalize MiLB teams in that region, which, at a glance, has one of the highest densities of MiLB teams in the country.
   20. OsunaSakata Posted: December 27, 2011 at 08:06 PM (#4023950)
The interesting question about this is how much it would cannibalize MiLB teams in that region, which, at a glance, has one of the highest densities of MiLB teams in the country.


I think Florida also has a high concentration of MiLB teams and we all know how blindingly successful MLB has been at the box office there.
   21. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 27, 2011 at 08:24 PM (#4023959)
I think Florida also has a high concentration of MiLB teams and we all know how blindingly successful MLB has been at the box office there.

Florida's MiLB teams are almost entirely based at the complexes, which was great in the '80s but provides a decidedly non-MiLB experience now. Florida's summers also don't help.

The teams in North Carolina are generally very successful. I'm not sure that translates into enough support for an MLB team; I mentioned it more from the standpoint of possibly blowing a hole in the Carolina and/or South Atlantic Leagues that would be tougher to fill, now that governments are cash-strapped and generally averse to ballpark subsidies.
   22. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: December 27, 2011 at 09:49 PM (#4024008)
Although it's kind of fun to see an indication that Richmond, Va. (my home town) could theoretically support every major professional sport except MLB, there also ain't no way that Richmond realistically could support any major professional sport. However, I do think that Norfolk/Hampton Roads could support an NBA team.
   23. Babe Adams Posted: December 27, 2011 at 10:18 PM (#4024021)
I'd be curious to see numbers for Mexico City.

According to the chart, MLB could put almost 7 more franchises in NYC and still expect them to be financially viable.


Tokyo/Yokohama has (or used to have) six of the twelve teams in the Japan leagues. Not sure how viable they were, but New York would just have to go to 3 (or 4?). London usually (I guess) ends up with five EPL teams, and has many more teams playing competitive ball at lower levels.
   24. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 27, 2011 at 10:39 PM (#4024034)
I wonder if central NC would be viable if you combined all the cities in the megalopolis in question


No.

Sad fact of life; except for college sports and NASCAR, both of which are pretty heavily concentrated on the weekends, people in NC will NOT travel to watch sports.

I go to both Five County Stadium and the DBAP regularly; I live a little closer to Five County but the driving times are pretty close. I see very few people other than baseball people (scouts and the like) at both parks. The crowd at Five County skews east (Rocky Mount/Wilson). Durham tends to draw a lot of the college kids from Duke and UNC, even NC State (which is physically closer to the DBAP than to Zebulon), and folks from Cary and Apex. The vast majority in both parks live within about 15 minutes of the facility.

When the Hurricanes came to North Carolina in 1997, they played in Greensboro for two years while their current areas was being built. They drew almost nothing from outside of the Triad. When the team moved east to what was then the ESA, currently the RBC Center, and pretty soon PNC Arena, the Greensboro fan base didn't transport with them; today the Canes draw the overwhelming majority of their fans from within a 30-mile radius of the arena.

-- MWE
   25. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 28, 2011 at 12:48 AM (#4024090)
I go to both Five County Stadium

This seems like one of the more unique ballparks in professional baseball. I've never seen a second deck that's so close to the action (or at least it looks that way in the pics).
   26. DL from MN Posted: December 28, 2011 at 01:25 AM (#4024101)
I'd be curious to see numbers for Mexico City.


Monterrey is my favorite candidate for expansion into Mexico.
   27. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 28, 2011 at 01:54 AM (#4024114)
Monterrey is my favorite candidate for expansion into Mexico.

Timing really hurt Monterrey. With government subsidies of ballparks in the U.S. now increasingly rare, Mexico might have started looking like a more attractive option for MLB. But within the past year or two, drug violence has been making Monterrey more and more unsafe.
   28. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: December 28, 2011 at 03:43 AM (#4024148)
5 county: It is that way (and is a reason, I suspect, that Emeigh prefers it to Durham's DBAP - I like Durham's park better, but that's a tough point to counter). IIRC, they were running out of money during the construction and had to make some late adjustments to the plan.
As for going to both - I could count on one hand the number of people that I know that do so.

I was just in Asheboro a few days ago (yes, at the zoo) - it's an hour and a half from my house in the western part of the Triangle (so, closer than for most of Raleigh-Durham's population). Non-starter for this metro area.

Incidentally (and I suspect a bunch of you know this already), the Twins were rumored to be moving to Kernersville (between Winston-Salem and Greensboro - and nearly as far for me as Asheboro) in the late '90s - Pohlad had a tentative agreement to sell the team and everything - before a pair of stadium tax proposals failed. Lucky thing - it was a horrible, horrible idea.

**

I think the Tidewater area could support an NBA team as well, given a nicer arena. Bring back the Squires!

Monterrey: Drug violence aside - I've got to think a lot guys would be peeved to get traded there.

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