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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hummel: Cards attendance down almost 3,000 a game

Don’t #### with the Pedro Feliz Fan Club!

The Cardinals have the fourth highest attendance decline in the major leagues at nearly 171,000, or 2,843 a game, before Tuesday night’s game here. The troubled Los Angeles franchise leads with a dropoff of more than half a million fans from this time last year.

But, with four weekend series remaining — with Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Atlanta and Chicago — and Willie McGee and Holliday bobblehead promotions this Friday and Sunday, Joe Strohm, vice president of ticket sales, said the Cardinals still will exceed three million fans for the eighth year in a row and 15th year overall. Strohm said the club would exceed three million on Friday, Sept. 23 against the Cubs.

...Before the season began, there was some hope in the organization that 3.2 million would be reached but Strohm said, “We were comfortable that (3.1 million) was going to be the number, especially when we saw early in the season how weather plays such an important role. We battled the weather pretty heavily.”

While there will be disappointment in the final numbers, Strohm said the Cardinals, with the 24th largest market, will finish sixth in attendance. “We definitely do not take that for granted,” said Strohm.

Repoz Posted: August 24, 2011 at 12:04 PM | 93 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, cardinals, media

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   1. Gamingboy Posted: August 24, 2011 at 12:57 PM (#3907677)
St. Louis still remains one of the biggest baseball towns, though. As can be noted by the fact that the 24th largest market is the sixth in attendance.

For those curious, here's my list of baseball towns-


Undisputed baseball towns:
NYC
Boston
STL

Disputed baseball towns:
Chicago (would the combined popularity of the Cubs and White Sox equal that of DA BEARS?)
Philadelphia (Eagles most popular team, but the fact that Philly is such a sports city means that the Phillies get support on the level of the other baseball towns)

Cities where baseball team is the most popular team but where it is overlooked because of pro team in nearby city:
Milwaukee (Brewers > Bucks, but Packers > Brewers)
Anaheim?

Towns that could become baseball towns:
San Francisco (especially if the 49ers continue to languish)
San Diego (if the Chargers move to Los Angeles, by default it'll be a baseball town, since there will be no other pro teams)
   2. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 24, 2011 at 01:05 PM (#3907681)
Disputed baseball towns:
Chicago (would the combined popularity of the Cubs and White Sox equal that of DA BEARS?)


This can only be said by someone who doesn't live in Chicago. It's a football town. There's the Bears, and then there's everything else.
   3. Cabbage Posted: August 24, 2011 at 01:12 PM (#3907686)
This can only be said by someone who doesn't live in Chicago. It's a football town. There's the Bears, and then there's everything else.

Its not even close. The end of the lockout was really annoying because it kicked baseball off sports radio for two solid weeks while everyone OD'd on Bears talk like junkies who just snuck out of Betty Ford.
   4. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: August 24, 2011 at 01:15 PM (#3907688)
San Francisco (especially if the 49ers continue to languish)


I haven't lived there in years, but my friends still in the Bay Area report that this has happened already. The transition was well underway seven or eight years ago, when I left town,
   5. Rancischley Leweschquens (Tim Wallach was my Hero) Posted: August 24, 2011 at 01:30 PM (#3907696)
Willie McGee and Holliday bobblehead promotions

A Willie McGee bobblehead... Not sure I want to see that.
   6. BDC Posted: August 24, 2011 at 02:05 PM (#3907720)
Undisputed baseball towns:
NYC
Boston


I wonder how much of both dynamics has to do with where the NFL stadiums are. I don't know Boston well enough to have a sense for that, but in New York there's a strong tendency to assume that anything that happens in New Jersey doesn't quite exist. I get a sense (though largely filtered through extreme sources like Fred Exley's novel A Fan's Notes) that the NFL Giants were much more the talk of the town when they played in the Polo Grounds or Yankee Stadium. (Not that in those early days they matched the popularity of baseball, of course.) What if the Giants or Jets had somehow managed to get a stadium built on the West Side Yards area of Manhattan, or in downtown Brooklyn? What if pigs could fly, I suppose.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: August 24, 2011 at 02:14 PM (#3907728)
This can only be said by someone who doesn't live in Chicago. It's a football town. There's the Bears, and then there's everything else.


My experience in the burbs differs. While the Bears are the one team everyone can get behind, the passion for the baseball teams, at the very least, equals them. I guess we're just smarter out here.

I will agree on the media coverage, though I can't shake the idea that part of it is out of some sense of obligation to prove dey luv Da Bears most.
   8. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 24, 2011 at 02:24 PM (#3907736)
6 - Bob, there was talk about the Giants when I was growing up in the 60s, but none of it particularly good. It's true that season tickets were passed on in wills, but in my lifetime the only good Giants teams played in Jersey. & despite claims at the time that people were going to root for the Bills as "the only New York team," it never happened, of course. Upstate might as well be another state, and it wasn't a local TV market.
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 24, 2011 at 02:24 PM (#3907737)
Undisputed baseball towns:
NYC
Boston
STL


I don't think that New York or Boston are baseball towns as much as they're Winners towns. I'd bet my last dollar that if almost any other one team city had the sort of sustained runs of success that the Yankees or Red Sox have had, they'd be "baseball towns", too.** And let the Yankees or Red Sox play like the Cubs or the Orioles for the next 15 years and see how much of a baseball town you'd have left.

All this isn't to say that New York and Boston aren't among the top 3 baseball towns today, but unlike St. Louis, I'm cynical about how long the loyalty would last without the domination.

**Show me any one team city in the last 30 years that hasn't been among the leaders in attendance when they had a good run of success. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Pittsburgh in the early 90's.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 24, 2011 at 02:28 PM (#3907742)
I've always thought NY was more of a basketball town, but the Knicks suckitude has muted that somewhat. And if Boston fans had to choose between a Celts championship and a Red Sox championship - which would they choose? I'm not totally convinced it would be the Red Sox, particularly now that they've ended their championship drought.

Isn't Detroit a pretty good baseball town? I mean its Hockeytown first, but the Tigers seem to be quite popular.

What about Seattle? Or are they a soccer town?
   11. Chicago Joe Posted: August 24, 2011 at 02:31 PM (#3907745)
Show me any one team city in the last 30 years that hasn't been among the leaders in attendance when they had a good run of success. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Pittsburgh in the early 90's.

The Rays, the A's, the early 2000's Twins.
   12. Famous Original Joe C Posted: August 24, 2011 at 02:32 PM (#3907747)
And if Boston fans had to choose between a Celts championship and a Red Sox championship - which would they choose? I'm not totally convinced it would be the Red Sox, particularly now that they've ended their championship drought.

The Celtics have never really been the Boston team - maybe in the 80s. They were popular enough in the Auerbach days, but by the late 60s, with the Impossible Dream Red Sox and the Big Bad Bruins, the Celtics were a clear third. Now, the Bruins are back, the Red Sox continue to sail along. To be honest, I could imagine the Celtics finishing 4rd or even 4th in a Boston poll for who you'd like to see win the next championship. Red Sox and Patriots would be 1/2 in some order.
   13. Traderdave Posted: August 24, 2011 at 02:44 PM (#3907761)
Show me any one team city in the last 30 years that hasn't been among the leaders in attendance when they had a good run of success. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Pittsburgh in the early 90's.


East Coast Bias!
   14. SouthSideRyan Posted: August 24, 2011 at 02:48 PM (#3907764)
I guess the Cardinals will have to offset this loss of revenue in some way. Can anyone think of a way the Cardinals could trim some money from their budget this Fall-Winter?
   15. rr Posted: August 24, 2011 at 02:49 PM (#3907766)
I don't think that New York or Boston are baseball towns as much as they're Winners towns
.

Correct. LA as well. This is actually true of all cities. SF is the best current example. Was SF a "baseball town" during the Rice/Montana/Young era?

To the degree a place is a certain kind of sports town, Cincinnati is a baseball town. Oakland, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh are football towns. Although the Rangers won the pennant and the Mavericks won the NBA title, I would guess that to a large extent, the Cowboys still (and always will) own the Metroplex.

But most of those kinds of designations are tied heavily to winning traditions, and to an extent statewide tradition and to length of uninterrupted stay.

The Cowboys and the Raiders for example, are not that "old"--they have been around since 1960. But they are in both cases, the oldest, (most hardcore Raider fans don't really count the LA interlude) and historically, the most successful games in town (TX, Northern OH, and Western PA are of course football states/regions as well).

A buddy who transplanted here to SD from DC was on my ass about how the Chargers should leave since the games don't sell out and was talking about the "passion" for the Redskins in DC. The Redskins have been in DC since the 1920s, and have mostly been successful from George Allen on, won 3 SBs, so even saddled with Dan Snyder, their fans will mostly stay with them.

Not that anyone here cares much, but, having lived in SD for 20 years and LA for about 10, I can say that:

1. There is a pretty good chance the Chargers will move to LA due to the (duh) stadium issue.
2. It's not a very good idea. A lot of native San Diegans really love the Chargers in spite of the lack of consistent sell-outs. Weather, culture, etc. But very few people in LA, except for transplanted San Diegans, give a crap about the Chargers. Non-transplant people up there who really root for a team tend to be Raiders or Rams fans, or to have picked some national brand team, like Green Bay or Pittsburgh, to root for. If the Chargers do go up there, I will not be surprised if they pull an Al Davis thing and move back in about 2025.
   16. Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: August 24, 2011 at 02:50 PM (#3907770)
Baltimore was a baseball town. I guess the Ravens being non-horrible has probably closed that gap, but not sure its permanent.

In the five years I lived in Chicago, my definite impression was that it was a baseball town for sure, but this was 1999-2004 and I lived near Wrigley so perhaps my experience was biased.
   17. Qufini Posted: August 24, 2011 at 02:51 PM (#3907771)
I haven't lived there in years, but my friends still in the Bay Area report that this has happened already. The transition was well underway seven or eight years ago, when I left town,


This was already under way when I lived there in 2000-01. When the Giants moved into Pac Bell Park (or whatever it's called now), they took over San Francisco. The 49ers were playing poorly in a bad stadium on the outskirts of town. The Giants were playing great in an incredible stadium close to the heart of the city. It wasn't even close.
   18. Russ Posted: August 24, 2011 at 02:54 PM (#3907774)
**Show me any one team city in the last 30 years that hasn't been among the leaders in attendance when they had a good run of success. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Pittsburgh in the early 90's.


And the Pirates' run of success was very short.. the team was very good in 1988, bad in 1989, great from 1990-1992 (but still never made it out of the NLCS) and then stunk from 1993 to present. I would guess it takes more than 3 years to build up a strong enough following to have enough repeat attendance. Plus, TRS was a godawful place to watch baseball games... put the 1990-1992 Pirates in PNC Park and they do significantly better attendance wise.
   19. aberg Posted: August 24, 2011 at 03:08 PM (#3907787)
Boston


Joe C alluded to this, and I have a friend who grew up in Boston and recently moved back who has always said that Boston is a hockey town that had been cheering for its other successful teams while the Bruins languished. The Red Sox curse narrative may obscure it a bit due to the catharsis associated with finally winning.

What about Seattle? Or are they a soccer town?


Starcraft town, baby.
   20. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 24, 2011 at 03:11 PM (#3907791)
Show me any one team city in the last 30 years that hasn't been among the leaders in attendance when they had a good run of success. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Pittsburgh in the early 90's.

The Rays, the A's, the early 2000's Twins.


Yeah, but four years and / or a bunch of early playoff exits isn't quite what I was referring to. And the A's were among the AL leaders in attendance in the late 80's / early 90's when they got into the World Series three times and then won another division title.

OTOH I think it's safe to say that until proven otherwise, Florida is just not a baseball state, period. And I shouldn't have mentioned Pittsburgh, since Russ is right about the shortness of the Pirates' run of success.

--------------------------------------------

Baltimore was a baseball town.

Sure, from about 1979 through 2000. For the 19 years before that they had the best record in baseball and finished first 6 times, and were lucky to even draw a million. Their attendance shot up in 1979 for four good reasons: They switched radio stations and got a lot more promotion; they had a run in June and July where they took over first place for good with a series of improbable comebacks; their new owner started hinting about moving the team to Washington if attendance didn't pick up;** and under Bob Irsay the Colts completely tanked and alienated the entire city in the process. It was a perfect storm that Peter Angelos has done his best to destroy.


**The Washington Post even ran an infamous editorial telling him to do exactly that, and added to the other factors,
   21. Traderdave Posted: August 24, 2011 at 03:11 PM (#3907792)
Cincinnati is only barely a baseball town these days, and that's only thanks to Mike Brown.
   22. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 24, 2011 at 03:13 PM (#3907794)
And if Boston fans had to choose between a Celts championship and a Red Sox championship - which would they choose? I'm not totally convinced it would be the Red Sox, particularly now that they've ended their championship drought.

To back up Joe C, there's no way the Celtics would be higher than third. Probably fourth.
   23. JRVJ Posted: August 24, 2011 at 03:15 PM (#3907796)
I have said this before and say it again: I would not be surprised if the Phillies have, in fact, passed the Eagles as the favorite team of the Delaware Valley.
   24. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 24, 2011 at 03:19 PM (#3907801)
KC was clearly a baseball town in the 70s and 80s. In the 90s the Chiefs got good and the Royals tanked, and its been a football down since. I'm not sure what would happen if the Royals got good. I think attendance would probably be pretty good though.
   25. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 24, 2011 at 03:21 PM (#3907806)
Can a town swap from football to baseball and back over the course of 20 or 30 years? Isn't it a "sports town" at that point?

That's not a bad thing.
   26. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 24, 2011 at 03:24 PM (#3907810)
Yeah, but four years and / or a bunch of early playoff exits isn't quite what I was referring to. And the A's were among the AL leaders in attendance in the late 80's / early 90's when they got into the World Series three times and then won another division title.

And the Mustache Gang finished 5th, 8th, and 11th in attendance from 1972-74. Just think: a two-time defending champ came next-to-last in attendance en route to their third championship.
   27. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: August 24, 2011 at 03:43 PM (#3907834)
This can only be said by someone who doesn't live in Chicago. It's a football town. There's the Bears, and then there's everything else.

Disagree. I can't speak to sports radio because I don't listen to it, but in terms of what the gear you see people wearing on the street and the conversations you overhear, the Bears and Cubs/Sox run about equal (depending on the time of year, of course). Correct for the fact that you have the "One Town, One Team" dynamic going in the Bears favor, I don't think you can call this a football city.
   28. SoSH U at work Posted: August 24, 2011 at 03:51 PM (#3907842)
Disagree. I can't speak to sports radio because I don't listen to it, but in terms of what the gear you see people wearing on the street and the conversations you overhear, the Bears and Cubs/Sox run about equal (depending on the time of year, of course). Correct for the fact that you have the "One Town, One Team" dynamic going in the Bears favor, I don't think you can call this a football city.


That's my impression from the NW Indiana/South Side portion of Chicagoland. My lengthy daily commute demonstrated that far more people outwardly display signs of their Cubs/Sox fanhood (bumper stickers/license plate holders/other) than the Bears (and that's not just an anecdotal observation - I studied it dammit).
   29. bads85 Posted: August 24, 2011 at 04:04 PM (#3907844)
OTOH I think it's safe to say that until proven otherwise, Florida is just not a baseball state, period.


Florida is a huge baseball state; it just doesn't support MLB baseball for a variety of reasons, the number one being the horrible marketing techniques the two MLB franchises have used. Baseball is played all year round in Florida, starting shortly after kids leave the womb. Florida produces a great deal of baseball talent, its D-1 schools are usually powerhouses, plus the state supports a High A ball league. Add a large Latin population that embraces baseball, and you have a very strong baseball community. Selig's biggest failure as the "real" commissioner is the failure to tap this community.
   30. TerpNats Posted: August 24, 2011 at 04:04 PM (#3907845)
Hold this debate 20 or 30 years ago, and Detroit was right up there with St. Louis, New York and Boston as unquestioned "baseball towns." Now, it's barely in the conversation. What gives? Probably the weakened midwestern economy, which has tilted affluence to the coasts and areas dominated by the "creative class."
   31. BDC Posted: August 24, 2011 at 04:05 PM (#3907846)
Boston is a hockey town

My impression of the American cities in the "original six" NHL is that they have extremely fanatical hockey-fan cultures. They may constitute a minority of sports fans in any given town, but their attention is better-focussed. That is an anecdotal observation, but based on having lived in Chicago and New York, and within the orbit of Detroit for several years, too. I used to commute through Penn Station quite a bit, and I don't really remember the crowds for Knicks games: there was a certain amount of cool to the Knicks, I suppose, Spike Lee at courtside and all that, but it was just another of the dozens of sporting events in the city. Whereas at a Rangers game the station would be absolutely crammed with people wearing beautifully maintained Rangers jerseys, in various states of ecstasy and inebriation. Maybe it's just a different way of expressing one's self.
   32. SandyRiver Posted: August 24, 2011 at 04:07 PM (#3907849)
Baltimore was a baseball town.

Sure, from about 1979 through 2000. For the 19 years before that they had the best record in baseball and finished first 6 times, and were lucky to even draw a million. Their attendance shot up in 1979 for four good reasons: They switched radio stations and got a lot more promotion; they had a run in June and July where they took over first place for good with a series of improbable comebacks; their new owner started hinting about moving the team to Washington if attendance didn't pick up; and under Bob Irsay the Colts completely tanked and alienated the entire city in the process. It was a perfect storm that Peter Angelos has done his best to destroy.


Where does Camden Yards fit into that narrative? Muni Stadium was pretty meh as a baseball park, and almost the entire upper deck was uncovered, making for 360-degree "bleachers". Good points: They served fine B'more crabcakes, and the place was only a 10-minute walk from the Hopkins campus. (And in 1966, the Year of Robbie, they were really good. Stayed good for several years, but my GPA convinced JHU to disinvite me after my sophomore year.)
   33. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 24, 2011 at 04:13 PM (#3907854)
Hold this debate 20 or 30 years ago, and Detroit was right up there with St. Louis, New York and Boston as unquestioned "baseball towns." Now, it's barely in the conversation. What gives? Probably the weakened midwestern economy, which has tilted affluence to the coasts and areas dominated by the "creative class."

Detroit is barely even a "town" anymore. I'd rate it as unquestionably a baseball town, to the degree that it still exists.
   34. toratoratora Posted: August 24, 2011 at 04:20 PM (#3907856)
Baltimore was a baseball town. I guess the Ravens being non-horrible has probably closed that gap, but not sure its permanent.


Nah. Baltimore is a football town first. Even in the heights of the Orioles late 60's, 70's run, the O's played second fiddle to the Colts.
It was only when the Colts left and Camden Yards got built that Baltimore became baseball first. The coming of the Ravens has changed all that. They are the premier team in town. Now, the Orioles suckitude has a bit to do with that, but even if the Ravens sucked,they would still hold the heart of the city. As is, Ray Lewis is the biggest athlete in the city and it's not even close. Flacco is the only other guy who can compete.
   35. McCoy Posted: August 24, 2011 at 04:31 PM (#3907862)
This can only be said by someone who doesn't live in Chicago. It's a football town. There's the Bears, and then there's everything else.

Huh?
   36. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 24, 2011 at 04:55 PM (#3907875)
as far as appearances and sightings of apparel, it is worth noting, MLB sales of apparel (annually) are well ahead of all of the other professional sports. I stumbled across this quite recently in the WSJ, so I know the data is still current.
   37. phredbird Posted: August 24, 2011 at 05:09 PM (#3907885)
i got in a terrible argument here a while back about who was bigger, the lakers or the dodgers. i was saying the dodgers are bigger than the lakers and i admit my logic was faulty, its hard to argue against the idea that LA is more of a basketball town right now. but the emphasis is on now. this has more to do with whoever was talking about how a city gets attached to a winner. the lakers are benefitting from that, and rightly so. everybody loves a winner.
but ... the dodgers are still very big in LA, even with the crappy ownership they have now. the club hasn't had decent ownership in over 20 years. the potential upside for the dodgers is enormous if they eventually get an owner who knows how to work the brand. the lakers seem poised for a slump, which can only help. its my subjective impression, but LA is a baseball town looking for a team to root for.
   38. rr Posted: August 24, 2011 at 05:15 PM (#3907889)
its my subjective impression, but LA is a baseball town looking for a team to root for
.


LA is a championship town. The Dodgers haven't won one since 1988.

But the Lakers have won so much that the brand now has some strength independent of Ws and Ls, just like the Raiders, Celtics, Yankees, Cubs, Red Sox, Packers, Notre Dame football, etc.

As I said in another thread, IME living there the Lakers are about the only thing that unites the vast sprawl of demographically varied areas known officially as "LA."
   39. BDC Posted: August 24, 2011 at 05:19 PM (#3907895)
the O's played second fiddle to the Colts

The Colts were so popular that they used to have a marching band even when they didn't have a team.
   40. bads85 Posted: August 24, 2011 at 05:29 PM (#3907905)
As I said in another thread, IME living there the Lakers are about the only thing that unites the vast sprawl of demographically varied areas known officially as "LA."


This is 100% true, but identity and popularity are not the only thing that define a town. While the Lakers are king, the Greater Los Angels area is a baseball mecca that goes well beyond the Dodgers and the Angels.
   41. phredbird Posted: August 24, 2011 at 05:34 PM (#3907909)
yes, championship town, which i pretty much said. lakers winning tradition def. gives them that momentum, good point.

IME living there the Lakers are about the only thing that unites the vast sprawl of demographically varied areas known officially as "LA."


this is the only part i don't nec. agree with. i see more dodgers logos and caps than lakers. but i'm not sure what it means since everybody i talk to about this insist the lakers are 'bigger' than the dodgers. this is also a purely subjective observation but the dodgers seem way more popular among hispanics, and that is one fast growing fan base.
if the dodgers can manage a miracle in the next couple of years i'd say the calculus could change.
   42. Gamingboy Posted: August 24, 2011 at 05:46 PM (#3907919)
Oh, and the Tampa Area and Phoenix are both baseball towns....

...but only in March.



From what I know from my times down there, Baltimore is a football town that for years had been a Philadelphia style "Not the biggest team but it doesn't matter because the fans are good enough" type of baseball town during the glory days (it was only a outright Baseball town during the Ripken years, which was helped by the fact that the city was without a NFL team for all but the beginning and the end of that period). The Angelos era suckitude and the retirement of Ripken put an end to that.

I always thought of Detroit as a hockey town. Ditto the Twin Cities of Minnesota (although that is primarily on the amateur levels, since the Vikings are the most popular team and Mauer is the most popular athlete, even with his off-year.).

Seattle is just a weird town that I have no idea in how to classify.
   43. bads85 Posted: August 24, 2011 at 06:07 PM (#3907934)
Oh, and the Tampa Area and Phoenix are both baseball towns....

...but only in March.


That certainly isn't true about Phoenix.
   44. bads85 Posted: August 24, 2011 at 06:11 PM (#3907938)
this is the only part i don't nec. agree with. i see more dodgers logos and caps than lakers.


Purple and gold caps don't look good, so they aren't trendy. Also, Dodger colors are gang colors, a lot of those caps represent somethign other than being a Dodger fan. Lakers' jerseys far surpass Dodger gear though.

>>>this is also a purely subjective observation but the dodgers seem way more popular among hispanics,<<<

Where do you live? The Lakers are absolutely huge in the Hispanic community.
   45. whoisalhedges Posted: August 24, 2011 at 06:14 PM (#3907940)
What about Seattle? Or are they a soccer town?

A lot of Japanese people live in Seattle.



It's a baseball town. ;)
   46. Qufini Posted: August 24, 2011 at 06:24 PM (#3907947)
I was wondering about Minnesota. Are the Vikings bigger than the Twins?
   47. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: August 24, 2011 at 06:29 PM (#3907953)
and i admit my logic was faulty

I'm pretty sure this kind of comment violates the terms of service.
   48. whoisalhedges Posted: August 24, 2011 at 06:37 PM (#3907960)
Are the Vikings bigger than the Twins?


Vikings were pretty big, but I think these twins have them beat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McGuire_twins
   49. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 24, 2011 at 06:54 PM (#3907971)
The Colts were so popular that they used to have a marching band even when they didn't have a team.

Hell, the Colts were so popular that the Ravens' fight song is still the same one that the Colts used!

And when the O's played their final Memorial Stadium game in 1991, the loudest cheer of the day was reserved for the Colts Marching Band when they played that same song, even though the Colts had been in Indy for seven years!

------------------------------------------

From what I know from my times down there, Baltimore is a football town that for years had been a Philadelphia style "Not the biggest team but it doesn't matter because the fans are good enough" type of baseball town during the glory days (it was only a outright Baseball town during the Ripken years, which was helped by the fact that the city was without a NFL team for all but the beginning and the end of that period). The Angelos era suckitude and the retirement of Ripken put an end to that.

The O's actually captured Baltimore's heart two years before the arrival of Ripken, but when the Ravens got good around the same time that the Orioles started their long descent (ca. 1998-2000), Baltimore resumed its pre-1979 status as a football town above all. And as long as the Ravens remain competitive, I doubt if it'll ever go back until Angelos croaks and the team gets sold to someone who knows what he's doing.
   50. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: August 24, 2011 at 07:10 PM (#3907986)
Seattle is just a weird town that I have no idea in how to classify.


Seattle is pretty weird. From my brief experience here, football seems to be #1, with the Mariners as a strong #2. They could probably at least be on equal footing with the Seahawks/Huskies if they ever had a team that was good. But MLS is way more popular here than any other place I've been, and I don't really know what to make of that. Some bars will play a Sounders game rather than a Mariners game.

People are into a lot of weird alternative sports, though. The bike polo leagues and roller derby leagues are oddly popular. There just isn't a real strong sports culture, so people's sports energy gets diverted into perverse things like cardboard tube dueling.
   51. phredbird Posted: August 24, 2011 at 07:11 PM (#3907988)
and i admit my logic was faulty

I'm pretty sure this kind of comment violates the terms of service.


you mean i can never admit i was wrong? i save that for family discussions.
   52. phredbird Posted: August 24, 2011 at 07:14 PM (#3907990)
Dodger colors are gang colors, a lot of those caps represent somethign other than being a Dodger fan.


i don't live in a gang infested area, so can't speak to that. the caps and jerseys i see are on 'civilians'.

i'll take your word for it on the hispanic community and lakers, but it has not been my experience, that's all.
   53. bads85 Posted: August 24, 2011 at 07:36 PM (#3908007)
i don't live in a gang infested area, so can't speak to that. the caps and jerseys i see are on 'civilians'.


Caps aren't the best indicator because Lakers' caps just aren't cool. In fact, a person wearing a Lakers' cap is usually a Johhny Come Lately trying to look hard core, but doesn't realize he is sticking out like a sore thumb. Lakers' jerseys, shirts, and shorts are another story.
   54. seattlematt Posted: August 24, 2011 at 07:40 PM (#3908014)
Chicago is a football town. I'd speculate the reason you see more signs displaying Cubs or Sox fandom because a Chicagoan must declare which baseball team they are rooting for, whereas a Chicagoan is automatically assumed to be a Bears fan.

Seattle is also a football town that is on its way to becoming a fútbol town. I'd place baseball as either 2 or 3 right now. I think the popularity of soccer in Seattle is a combination of factors. One is Seattle's status as an outlier city. Another is that the Sounders became an MLS franchise right after the Sonics left town. While there might not have been a one-for-one conversion of basketball to soccer fans, the city was ready to embrace a new team that is happy to call Seattle home. It is also much less of a pro-sports town and more of a participatory sports town.
   55. Adam B. Posted: August 24, 2011 at 07:49 PM (#3908028)
Philadelphia (Eagles most popular team, but the fact that Philly is such a sports city means that the Phillies get support on the level of the other baseball towns)
The Eagles will still sell out every game if they go 6-10; I don't know what kind of attendance level we'll see at CBP when the Phillies stop winning like this.
   56. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 24, 2011 at 08:01 PM (#3908033)
Seattle is pretty weird. From my brief experience here, football seems to be #1, with the Mariners as a strong #2. They could probably at least be on equal footing with the Seahawks/Huskies if they ever had a team that was good. But MLS is way more popular here than any other place I've been, and I don't really know what to make of that. Some bars will play a Sounders game rather than a Mariners game.

People are into a lot of weird alternative sports, though. The bike polo leagues and roller derby leagues are oddly popular. There just isn't a real strong sports culture, so people's sports energy gets diverted into perverse things like cardboard tube dueling.


The Mariners owned Seattle from 1995 until the mid-2000s. When they started losing 100 games regularly, the bloom came off the rose. The Mariners' woes, coupled with the Seahawks winning a couple of divison titles, and making a Superbowl, has currently tipped the balance back to the Seahawks. Seattle likes winners. I'm sure that's true of every franchise outside of the Cubs, but it does seem to be more true here than in other cities.

The Sounders are certainly in the equation; they've sold out every league home game in their existance, and averaged over 36,000 per league game last year. Most importantly, they have a media presence that is pretty much equal to baseball and football; they are not treated like a niche sport.

Three final observations:

1. Seattle didn't get major league team sports until the final third of the 20th Century. Before that, the University of Washington football and basketball teams were the only game in town in those sports, and they're still huge, especially Husky football. The UW has been terrible in football for most of the past decade, but during the Don James era, you could make a legitimate argument that Husky football was as big, if not bigger, than any of the pro sports.

2. In the 1950s and 1960s, this would be an easy question to answer, on the pro side. Unlimited hydroplanes ruled. I guess you had to grow up here to appreciate it, but every kid in those days had a wooden hydroplane trailing behind his bike. Yes, there was only one race here a year, which would attract huge crowds (200,000 and up) to the shores of Lake Washington, but it was followed all season long. There was an intense rivalry between drivers and boats from Seattle and Detroit, and the drivers were household names here.

3. People seem to participate in outdoor sports as much as root for teams here. Skiing, hiking, etc., are huge in the area, and it seems everyone does it, not just a subset. Two of my best friends are prototypical punk rock chicks, and their favorite activity, aside from going to see obscure bands, is to go hiking. EDIT: seattlematt mentioned this while I was carefully composing this post. A Tully's Irish cream mocha to him.
   57. SoSH U at work Posted: August 24, 2011 at 08:08 PM (#3908036)
2. In the 1950s and 1960s, this would be an easy question to answer, on the pro side. Unlimited hydroplanes ruled. I guess you had to grow up here to appreciate it, but every kid in those days had a wooden hydroplane trailing behind his bike. Yes, there was only one race here a year, which would attract huge crowds (200,000 and up) to the shores of Lake Washington, but it was followed all season long. There was an intense rivalry between drivers and boats from Seattle and Detroit, and the drivers were household names here.


Hey, unlimited hydroplane racing is still the premier professional sport in Madison, Ind.
   58. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 24, 2011 at 08:18 PM (#3908043)
Starcraft town, baby.

My worlds are colliding.
   59. Eddo Posted: August 24, 2011 at 08:23 PM (#3908048)
Disagree. I can't speak to sports radio because I don't listen to it, but in terms of what the gear you see people wearing on the street and the conversations you overhear, the Bears and Cubs/Sox run about equal (depending on the time of year, of course). Correct for the fact that you have the "One Town, One Team" dynamic going in the Bears favor, I don't think you can call this a football city.

I agree with Dayn (I do live in Chicago, and have lived in the city or suburbs my entire life, save for one year in Madison). I think the dual nature of Chicago baseball makes it more of a baseball town, as opposed to if it had only one team.

The Bears are, of course, unbelievably popular. But I think Chicago baseball fans have a nice intensity, since they're more pressed to actually pick a team and justify it.

Overall, though, I think Chicago is pretty equally a baseball and a football town.
   60. Rancischley Leweschquens (Tim Wallach was my Hero) Posted: August 24, 2011 at 08:26 PM (#3908052)
I'm curious: what about Atlanta? Is it a baseball, football or basketball town? It sure ain't a hockey town, that's for sure...
   61. Walt Davis Posted: August 24, 2011 at 08:29 PM (#3908055)
Bearing in mind that I haven't lived in Chicago in ...

####, I'm old, nevermind.

OK ... Chicago's weird because all of the Chicago teams have generally sucked. Certainly when I was a kid, the Bears weren't that big of a deal because the Bears weren't any good. But, by August/September, neither were the Cubs/Sox so, sure, the Bears dominated the news. As winter kicked in, the Hawks and Bulls were actually good (but not great) in those days so buzz would shift to them but they were still just hockey* and basketball.

In 83, it was a Sox town; in 84, it was a massive Cubs town; in 85 it was a Bears town; by 86 it was Jordan's town and it remained that way. I'll still say Chicago is a Cubs town in that sense that the entirety of Cook County (and sizeable chunks of the other counties and Iowa and Indiana) will go absolutely batshit if the Cubs ever win the Series.

That said, maybe because of its generally horrible team performance, Chicago may be a sports superstar town. Banks, Hull, Sayers, Butkus, Payton, Jordan, Sosa, Sandberg, etc. are what Chicagoans seem to focus on and follow. Chicago may have more (nearly) full career modern superstars than any other town because our teams always focus on keeping those stars (sometimes to their detriment). It's where the Sox have always fallen short somehow such that even a true great like Frank Thomas never seemed to generate that sort of following.
   62. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 24, 2011 at 08:30 PM (#3908057)
Hey, unlimited hydroplane racing is still the premier professional sport in Madison, Ind.


Yes indeed. And to take it full circle, the U-1, which is owned by the people of Madison, won this season's Seattle race...
   63. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 24, 2011 at 08:31 PM (#3908058)
I'm curious: what about Atlanta? Is it a baseball, football or basketball town? It sure ain't a hockey town, that's for sure...


College football first, then other stuff.
   64. Adam B. Posted: August 24, 2011 at 08:51 PM (#3908067)
The Braves are second in the NL in terms of record and 9th in home attendance; their home games with the Giants last week (playoff previews?) drew 22-23K. They get big crowds on Saturdays, but that's about it. Agreed with #63.
   65. Flynn Posted: August 24, 2011 at 08:53 PM (#3908070)

Joe C alluded to this, and I have a friend who grew up in Boston and recently moved back who has always said that Boston is a hockey town that had been cheering for its other successful teams while the Bruins languished.


Yeah, that's been a myth put forth by Bruins fans and the media and it doesn't really hold up. Don Cherry's Lunch Pail Gang Bruins went to a couple of Stanley Cup finals (where they got smoked by the Habs) and weren't selling out a small arena consistently. They didn't even sell out some of their Stanley Cup finals games.

Even during the Bobby Orr years the Red Sox were often among the leaders in American League attendance if not #1, so it's not like Orr-mania overrode everything. They stank before that and while they were popular in the 80s I don't think a Boston sports team has ever been more beloved than the Larry Bird Celtics. Maybe the 2004 Red Sox.

So basically they sold out a lot of games while Bobby Orr was there. That's like saying Cleveland is a basketball town because they sold out lots of games while LeBron was there. Now it's true hockey holds a certain special place in the white, working-class Bostonian's heart, they're the oldest franchise in town that's not the Red Sox, and you've got a way better chance of playing in the NHL as a poor Irish kid from Southie (the fetishized Boston working class hero) than you have to play in MLB, NFL or the NBA, but I just don't buy the idea the Bruins are the real #1. They weren't even selling out many of their games with a playoff calibre team a couple years ago.

Inevitably when the Bruins go into the toilet or blow a 3-1 lead to the Habs will be the test of whether this love affair with the Bruins has any staying power. Personally I feel it's more likely people move on to the next Boston sports team doing well than keep showing up.

SF is the best current example. Was SF a "baseball town" during the Rice/Montana/Young era?

As a native San Franciscan, I'd say to a certain degree it was. I don't think you can really underestimate how badly Candlestick affected the team's ability to draw fans. Baseball was always a popular topic of discussion when I was a kid, even when the Niners were good. It was just nobody wanted to go. Terrible stadium, miserable weather, in SF's worst neighborhood.

It's not like SF had no baseball past - the City produced a number of MLBers, many prominent players including MVPs and Hall of Famers, far in excess of what a city of 700,000 should. The Seals were one of the best supported teams in the PCL. Even the early Giants drew really well before people realized how bad that stadium was.

Obviously the new park helps. Obviously the 49ers going into the toilet - I was in high school before I thought to myself "Yeah, maybe the 49ers won't win the Super Bowl this year" - helps. But I think this is more of a situation where San Francisco's latent love for baseball was unlocked by being in the right venue and getting competent local ownership (remember, the Giants nearly moved twice). And getting Barry Bonds and then winning a World Series.

Also, in the 70s SF sports was the absolute pits while Oakland was Titletown USA, so the City was going to fall in love with absolutely the first successful team that showed up. Check out the 1978 Giants if you don't believe me.
   66. phredbird Posted: August 24, 2011 at 09:00 PM (#3908075)
Caps aren't the best indicator because Lakers' caps just aren't cool. In fact, a person wearing a Lakers' cap is usually a Johhny Come Lately trying to look hard core, but doesn't realize he is sticking out like a sore thumb. Lakers' jerseys, shirts, and shorts are another story.


well ... why aren't lakers caps cool? look, i can't believe people are preferring dodger caps just because they look better, even if we are talking about L.A., the capital of appearances. as for the jerseys etc. ... i still see more dodger stuff than laker stuff. again, i'm just going by my personal experience. but really, i'm sorry to drag this out. my original point is that for the purpose of this discussion, i believe LA would be a baseball town if the dodgers weren't in such a sorry state right now. i honestly think that's how L.A. would trend, all things being equal.
   67. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: August 24, 2011 at 09:03 PM (#3908079)
Oh, and the Tampa Area and Phoenix are both baseball towns....

...but only in March.
That certainly isn't true about Phoenix.
Darn tootin'.

With Spring Training for half of the majors, not to mention these teams' facilities operating year-round, plus the Arizona Fall League, the summer league, an upper-echelon college program and powerhouses at the JUCO and HS levels, Phoenix is a fantastic baseball town. If there's a weak link, you could say it's the D-Backs (before this season, anyway).
   68. bads85 Posted: August 24, 2011 at 09:03 PM (#3908080)
As a native San Franciscan, I'd say to a certain degree it was.


I'd agree -- in fact, San Francisco was a baseball town despite the Giants (and Candlestick)for many years. Same with Orange County and the Angels, and perhaps with Los Angeles and the Dodgers right now.
   69. bads85 Posted: August 24, 2011 at 09:05 PM (#3908081)
If there's a weak link, you could say it's the D-Backs (before this season, anyway).


Exactly --- those who are using an MLB team's popularity to define "baseball town" aren't clear on the definition. Baseball transcends MLB.
   70. Greg K Posted: August 24, 2011 at 09:33 PM (#3908101)
My impression of the American cities in the "original six" NHL is that they have extremely fanatical hockey-fan cultures.

I suppose it goes without saying, the Canadian ones do too.

If the 1985-1993 run the Jays had didn't break the death-grip the Leafs have on Toronto, nothing ever will.

Though Toronto did seem to love those Jays teams (and they did leave a lasting impression, pretty much everyone I know over 25 has a barrel full of nostalgia for those teams). But even amid the celebrations in 1992 I recall hearing quite often, "just imgaine what it'll be like if the Leafs ever win!"
   71. TerpNats Posted: August 24, 2011 at 09:35 PM (#3908102)
With Spring Training for half of the majors, not to mention these teams' facilities operating year-round, plus the Arizona Fall League, the summer league, an upper-echelon college program and powerhouses at the JUCO and HS levels, Phoenix is a fantastic baseball town. If there's a weak link, you could say it's the D-Backs (before this season, anyway).
In other words, Phoenix/Arizona is to baseball what Indianapolis/Indiana is to basketball, with the Diamondbacks being the Pacers.
   72. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: August 24, 2011 at 09:38 PM (#3908104)
Ooh, good comp.
   73. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: August 24, 2011 at 09:40 PM (#3908106)
The Braves are second in the NL in terms of record and 9th in home attendance; their home games with the Giants last week (playoff previews?) drew 22-23K. They get big crowds on Saturdays, but that's about it. Agreed with #63.


Atlanta's a transplant town. A good 1/3 to 1/2 of the metro population are recent arrivals, as often as not from northern states. My neighbor is a die-hard Giants fan (NY in football, SF in baseball, going back to his grandfather's NYC roots.) All of the big sell-out series/games, for every professional sport, typically split about half and half "local" fan to "fan of the other team." When the Red Sox or Yankees come to down during interleague play it's quite possible that Braves fans are a minority at the stadium that weekend. The Cubs and Cardinals (who were Atlanta's team prior to the Braves bolting Milwaukee in '66) always draw large groups of fans to their games.

Atlanta is also a front-runner town, in professional sports. If the Braves are winning, they will draw. If the Falcons are winning, they will draw. If the Hawks are winning, they will draw. But because all of the disposable income for metro-Atlanta lives 30 miles out of the city proper, and thus 30 miles away from the stadiums, the 'burbanites just don't show for a mediocre product. This is compounded by the fact that many of the die-hard, life-long fans of the Atlanta franchises live in the 50+ mile removed rural areas of the state, as well as in SC, TN and AL. And those rural fans don't have a lot of disposable income to travel to games at the drop of a hat.

Finally, Atlanta is a star town. When names show up, especially in basketball, the crowds come. The Hawks sell out for MJ, or Kobe, or LeBron.

Finally finally, yes, Atlanta and the region's true loyalties lie in college football. Unlike the professional franchises, there is little to no front-running there. You're a Dawg, or your Tide, or your a Jacket, born and bred, cradle to grave. The way most northerners think of their fan allegiances, that maps to collegiate loyalties down here. We're not necessarily "Yankees vs Mets," but we'll kill you if you confuse us with Gator fans.
   74. bads85 Posted: August 24, 2011 at 10:13 PM (#3908122)
>>>well ... why aren't lakers caps cool? <<<

Name one widely popular baseball cap in the history of baseball caps that was purple and gold. Hell, name the NBA franchises that had a widely popular baseball cap. EDIT: It will be a short list.

>>> i believe LA would be a baseball town if the dodgers weren't in such a sorry state right now.<<<

Los Angeles is a baseball town. Just because the Lakers are king does not change that.
   75. bads85 Posted: August 24, 2011 at 10:17 PM (#3908125)
In other words, Phoenix/Arizona is to baseball what Indianapolis/Indiana is to basketball, with the Diamondbacks being the Pacers.


Bingo, although people treat their religions a bit differently in each place.
   76. McCoy Posted: August 24, 2011 at 10:19 PM (#3908127)
Back in the Jordan days Bulls' caps were pretty popular in the Chicagoland area. Black hats with a splash of red.
   77. bads85 Posted: August 24, 2011 at 10:33 PM (#3908138)
Back in the Jordan days Bulls' caps were pretty popular in the Chicagoland area. Black hats with a splash of red.


Yeah, I thought of that after I posted, hence the edit.
   78. rr Posted: August 24, 2011 at 10:40 PM (#3908141)
Atlanta's a transplant town.


Ditto San Diego. As I have explained a few times here, that changes the sports culture in a city. That and weather. The #1 "sport" in San Diego is personal outdoor recreation. And yes, IME in most of the Deep South, College Football is #1.

well ... why aren't lakers caps cool?


Basketball is played wearing a jersey, shorts, and shoes. If Kobe wore a purple-and-gold cap while he played, they'd sell millions of them. Football sells some caps since you can't walk around in a football helmet.

I have seen Lakers jerseys, mostly Kobe jerseys, from Las Vegas to Modesto to Ensenada.

People of course do wear hoops caps, but I see more jerseys and alos t-shirts, jackets etc.
   79. JRVJ Posted: August 24, 2011 at 10:41 PM (#3908143)
The Eagles will still sell out every game if they go 6-10; I don't know what kind of attendance level we'll see at CBP when the Phillies stop winning like this.


This is where I think that the Philly comparisons are wrong.

The Eagles play 8 home games a year (plus preseason), more if there are playoffs. According to Wikipedia, it's got standing room capacity of 69,144. Multiply that by (say) 12 a year, and at most you get 829,728 people that saw the team in person.

According to Baseball Reference, the Phillies drew 3,777,322 fans in the 2010 regular season, plus about 234K in the 2010 playoffs.

I don't buy it that sell outs and attendance levels are comparable across these two sports, when both teams are packing them in every game and the Phillies are on their 203 straight home sell out.
   80. McCoy Posted: August 24, 2011 at 10:41 PM (#3908144)
I seem to remember the Kings' hat selling well. Perhaps even the Knicks and Celtics as well.
   81. phredbird Posted: August 24, 2011 at 10:42 PM (#3908145)
Name one widely popular baseball cap in the history of baseball caps that was purple and gold.


nevermind.

Los Angeles is a baseball town. Just because the Lakers are king does not change that.


are we agreeing or what?
   82. rr Posted: August 24, 2011 at 10:44 PM (#3908146)
I don't think you can really underestimate how badly Candlestick affected the team's ability to draw fans.


Candlestick was a huge deal. I have not spent much time in SF, but I tend to think like all cities, particularly CA cities IME, it's a winners' town first and foremost.
   83. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: August 24, 2011 at 10:47 PM (#3908148)
College football first, then other stuff.

More like the old joke, "in Texas, there's only two sports- football and spring football."

Seems to hold for most of SEC country as well. Or, basically anyplace where it's pronounced "footbaw" instead of the odd way it's pronounced where they don't have real footbaw.
   84. rr Posted: August 24, 2011 at 10:48 PM (#3908149)
are we agreeing or what?


He is saying that LA is a baseball town in a macrosense--baseball is the #1 sport there, overall.

He is also saying that the Lakers are a lot bigger than the Dodgers and have a huge, passionate, and loyal fanbase in SoCal. You seem to be saying that people are just sort of following the Lakers until the Dodgers get good again.
   85. phredbird Posted: August 24, 2011 at 10:56 PM (#3908153)
you seem to be saying that people are just sort of following the Lakers until the Dodgers get good again.


in the sense that the city's overall fan population is, like most other cities, attracted to championships, yes. but i'll agree that within that overall population there is a larger loyal group of fans that follow the lakers than the same for the dodgers these days.
its going to be interesting to see what happens if the lakers start having problems getting to the finals in the next couple of years.
   86. bads85 Posted: August 24, 2011 at 11:10 PM (#3908156)
He is saying that LA is a baseball town in a macrosense--baseball is the #1 sport there, overall.


I don't think that a baseball has to be #1 in a city to be a baseball city (same is true with other sports). Is baseball the number one sport in Los Angeles? I don't know. Los Angeles (and the OC/IE) is a baseball city and a basketball city. If the Lakers ever suck, the basketball culture will not leave Los Angeles. Pick up games aren't going to cease to exist (there are those who will argue that the pick up game in Venice are more definitive of the basketball culture in Los Angeles than the Lakers), the area isn't going to quit producing high quality basketball athletes, etc. Same with baseball.
   87. Flynn Posted: August 24, 2011 at 11:19 PM (#3908161)
I have not spent much time in SF, but I tend to think like all cities, particularly CA cities IME, it's a winners' town first and foremost.

SF has a much longer established local culture than almost all Sun Belt cities, even LA. Obviously it's only had the NFL since 1950 and MLB since 1958 (though that's longer than anywhere else south and west of St. Louis except for the LA Rams) but despite having an area with a lot of transplants, the Giants/49ers seem to do pretty well attracting people from outside the area to root for them. The biggest Niner fan I knew as a kid was a high school buddy of my dad's from Connecticut who lived in San Jose. The Giants and 49ers have very deep roots in the community, much deeper than most Sun Belt teams.

Any sort of analysis of SF has to take into account Candlestick as a baseball park, and also take into account that an NFL team that wins five Super Bowls in 14 years is going to take over virtually any town. I bet even Boston would be a Pats town had the Red Sox not been compelling and then two time World Series champions.
   88. Bhaakon Posted: August 25, 2011 at 01:03 AM (#3908250)
Candlestick was a huge deal. I have not spent much time in SF, but I tend to think like all cities, particularly CA cities IME, it's a winners' town first and foremost.


I don't know about that. I remain amazed that the Warriors draw at all, but they've been easily in the top half of NBA teams over the last 5 years.
   89. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 25, 2011 at 02:25 AM (#3908382)
If I recall a espn sn poll years ago, of several thousand people in each state, Nebraska and Alabama were the only states to rank (a non pro-sport) College Football #1 as their 'favorite sport' over all others, and #2 wasn't close.
   90. Qufini Posted: August 25, 2011 at 03:15 AM (#3908425)
If the Braves are winning, they will draw. If the Falcons are winning, they will draw. If the Hawks are winning, they will draw.


I'm not sure that's true. All three franchises have had playoff games that didn't sell out. I think the argument it's more of a college football town than a pro sports town is more than it's a frontrunner town.
   91. rr Posted: August 25, 2011 at 03:25 AM (#3908431)
SF has a much longer established local culture than almost all Sun Belt cities, even LA. Obviously it's only had the NFL since 1950 and MLB since 1958 (though that's longer than anywhere else south and west of St. Louis except for the LA Rams) but despite having an area with a lot of transplants, the Giants/49ers seem to do pretty well attracting people from outside the area to root for them. The biggest Niner fan I knew as a kid was a high school buddy of my dad's from Connecticut who lived in San Jose. The Giants and 49ers have very deep roots in the community, much deeper than most Sun Belt teams.


Perhaps; I haven't spent much time there and this is kind of stuff is very subjective. But this also sounds like a touch of NorCal nativism/elitism to me, which I heard a lot of at UCLA from NorCal-ers down there for college. One thing the SF/Bay Area has is a strong base of white-collar people with a lot disposable income, which I think helps the Warriors a lot--watching the NBA costs money. Also, I know that at Lakers/Warriors games at least, the sell-outs come from the fact that there a ton of Lakers fans there, and that may be true for other visiting teams.

SF is very different geographically than LA is; LA is such a widely diverse sprawl of communities that there would really be no way to have an "established local culture" in the sense I think you mean.

A guy I know who has lived in SF, Boston, and SD said that SF is in many ways a West Coast Boston--for both good and bad.
   92. LionoftheSenate Posted: August 25, 2011 at 12:40 PM (#3908544)
I've visited SF five times in the past 2 years on business and had a chance to attend 3 Giants games. Each time I'm impressed how intense the fan support is in that town. I've also had a chance to chat up local fans at Pete's Tavern across from ATT Park and they convinced me SF is a legit sports town. It is indeed rare for a city west of the Mississippi.

SF sure does have a much more established culture than other west coast or western towns.
   93. Karl from NY Posted: August 25, 2011 at 06:30 PM (#3908863)
Undisputed baseball towns:
NYC

I'd say only because the Yankees are always winning. In the early 90's when both baseball teams were bad, the Parcells Giants and then the Ewing Knicks were the kings of the town. Even the '96 Yankees didn't really reclaim the top spot until the runaway '98 team. NYC follows whoever wins, and with so many teams, there's always somebody on top. (The Devils don't count, most NYCers wouldn't know they won even one Cup, let alone three.)

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