B-Rich

The Big League Cities of America - a timeline

Recommended Posts

(for no damn reason other than I found this in my files...)

 

THE BIG LEAGUE CITIES OF AMERICA

 

Prior to WWII:

1.      New York

2.      Chicago

3.      Philadelphia

4.      Pittsburgh

5.      Boston

6.      Washington

7.      St. Louis

8.      Detroit

9.      Cleveland

10.    Cincinnati

11.    Green Bay

12.    Milwaukee

 

Prior to WWII, there were 12 markets for “big-league” professional sports in the U.S. -- 11 major ones and one unusual minor one which still exists today-- Green Bay, Wisconsin, home of the Packers.  Milwaukee also gets credit for the Packers, as they split home games with Green Bay from 1933 until 1994, well after they acquired their own named teams.  All of the other listed cities were home to the established NL and AL of baseball, several featured NFL football teams, and all represented the large cities of the east and midwest.  Washington was the only team south of the Mason-Dixon Line, and St. Louis on the Mississippi River was the only team west of that river.

 

 

The 40s:

1.      Los Angeles

2.      San Francisco

3.      Minnesota (Minneapolis/St. Paul)

4.      Baltimore

 

Although observers like to point to the 1957 move of the Giants and Dodgers to California as the pivotal shift in expanding franchises out of the midwest and northeast, the shift actually began a decade earlier, with the post-war shift of the NFL’s Cleveland Rams to L.A. and the formation of the San Francisco 49ers in the AAFC (the team was later to be absorbed into the NFL).   The Minneapolis Lakers began in 1947, and lasted there until the Twin Cities gained both a pro baseball and pro football franchise, and the original Baltimore Bullets began play in the NBA in 1949 (after playing earlier in the NBL and BAA) and lasted up until the city acquired the Baltimore Orioles, putting Baltimore in the big leagues for good. 

 

 

The 50s:

1.      Kansas City

 

Kansas City was the only place to enter the big leagues for good in the 1950s, receiving the A's baseball team from Philadelphia.  It should also be noted that Milwaukee also gained its owned named big-league team in this decade  (the former Boston Braves).

 

 

The 60s

1.      Dallas

2.      Houston

3.      Denver

4.      Buffalo

5.      San Diego

6.      Atlanta

7.      Miami

8.      New Orleans

9.      Seattle

10.    Phoenix

11.    Indianapolis

12.    (Oakland)

13.    (Anaheim/California)

 

The sixties showed the greatest increase in sports teams for cities.  With the exception of Indianapolis and Buffalo, all were from the burgeoning cities of the South and West.  There were also movements to areas considered suburbs or ‘sister cities’, but these teams established and maintained their own identity (and name) separate from that of the majority city.

 

Many of these new cities’ teams were expansion franchises.  Some cities, like Atlanta, San Diego, Oakland and Minnesota, featured both expansion franchises AND relocating teams.  There was also an increase in teams due to the creation of two new leagues, the AFL and ABA, each of which would put teams in the established sports leagues.

 

 

The 70s

1.      Portland

2.      San Antonio

3.      Tampa Bay

4.      Utah

5.      (New Jersey)

 

The pace slowed down in the seventies, with only 4 new metro areas entering the ranks of the pros and one suburban area (NJ) entering the pros-- in name as well as location-- for good.

 

 

The 80s

1.      Charlotte

2.      Orlando

3.      Sacramento

 

The pace slowed even more in the eighties, with the only major expansion being a four-team expansion of the NBA in the late 1980s.  Two of the teams, Charlotte and Orlando, were new to the pro ranks. The third city to enter the big leagues was Sacramento, as a result of a NBA franchise shift.

 

 

The 90s

1.      (San Jose)

2.      Jacksonville

3.      Raleigh-Durham (Carolina)

4.      Nashville

5.      Columbus

 

During the 90s, a spate of expansions and relocations occurred.  The NFL expanded by 4 teams (with the last team awarded in 1999 but not beginning play until 2002) and had 4 team relocations.  Major League Baseball expanded by 4 teams.  The NHL expanded by an amazing 9 teams (Columbus and Minnesota were announced but would not begin play until 2000) and had 4 team relocations.  The NBA also expanded into Canada, placing teams in Vancouver and Toronto.

 

 

The 00s

1.      Memphis

2.      Oklahoma City

 

During the ‘aught’ years, the only two new big league areas came as a result of franchise relocations in the NBA.  After many years of trying, in 2001 Memphis finally became a big-league city by agreeing to build a new arena for the relocated Vancouver Grizzlies of the NBA.  Oklahoma City, which had temporarily hosted the New Orleans Hornets in the 2 years following that city’s devastation by Hurricane Katrina, became home to the former Seattle Supersonics after that club was purchased in 2007 and relocated in 2008.

 

 

The 10s

1.      Las Vegas

 

In 2016, the NHL awarded an expansion franchise to Las Vegas, named the Vegas Golden Knights.  This capped a long history of minor and second-rate leagues calling Las Vegas home, including the IHL, the CFL, Arena Football, and XFL.  In 2020, the Oakland Raiders moved to Las Vegas, giving the city its 2nd major league team.

 

 

THE PRETENDERS

1960s

1.      Louisville

 

Although Louisville, KY had in fact fielded teams in the early years of both Major League Baseball and in the NFL, it was in the sixties that it nearly made the big leagues for good.  The first close shave came in the formative period of the AFL -- Louisville was targeted as a franchise site and offered to owner Ralph Wilson, who picked Buffalo instead.  In 1964, Charles O. Finley proposed to move his Kansas City A’s to Louisville.  The move was voted down unanimously by the other owners in Major League Baseball, apparently more out of dislike for Finley than apprehension over the Louisville market. The city was briefly considered for a WFL franchise in 1975.  The city got its closest taste of the big leagues with its Kentucky Colonels in the ABA, which began in 1967 and lasted throughout the life of that league, well into the 1970s.  The team was a success on the court and it drew well.   When several ABA teams were absorbed into the NBA, however, Colonels owner John Y. Brown accepted a cash settlement instead of an NBA slot.  Louisville is even today attempting to enter the big leagues, with overtures to move an NBA franchise to their city.

 

 

1970s

1.      Birmingham

2.      Hawaii (Honolulu)

3.      Virginia

4.      Shreveport

 

In the seventies, a number of places thought they were ready for the big leagues, but as time has shown, they either weren’t ready or missed out. 

 

Birmingham’s effort focused on football, with hockey as a secondary sport.  The city hosted a WFL team, a USFL team, a CFL team, a WLAF team and most recently an XFL team, and during the 1970s and 1980s attempted to lure NFL teams to relocate there.  The city did not even figure into the NFL expansion of 1993, though.  In the 1970s, the Birmingham Bulls of the WHA were rather successful, but did not make it into the NHL as a part of the 1979 merger.  Talk of building a new arena to host a NBA or NHL team has gotten nowhere, and there has been talk of having a domed stadium/convention center to help lure a football team.

 

Hawaii was briefly considered for a NFL expansion franchise in the 1970s, and was awarded a WFL franchise which lasted a couple of years.  The city also hosted an NASL franchise for one year (Team Hawaii).  Since that time, there has been little consideration of the site as a big-league location, primarily due to travel costs, the softness of the market, and time zone differences.

 

The tidewater area of Virginia was also a 1970s possibility for the big leagues.  The area (along with Richmond) hosted the ABA Squires for several years during that decade.  In the mid-1970s, the area was also to be the home of a WFL team to be called the Virginia Ambassadors—instead, that team wound up in Orlando.  Although there has been some movement to promote the area as a home for an NBA or NHL team, the Tidewater area apparently will remain a minor league outpost.

 

Finally, the city of Shreveport, LA began its fling with the big leagues in the 1970s when the Houston Texans of the WFL relocated to Shreveport in the middle of their first season. Renamed the Steamer, the team stuck around for the second season and drew well before the WFL folded.   In the 1990s, the city hosted the Shreveport Pirates in the CFL, but with the end of the ‘American experiment’ of that league it has remained a minor-league town.

 

 

1980s 

1.      Tulsa

 

The city of Tulsa featured an NASL soccer team, the Roughnecks, in the 1970s and early eighties, but their closest brush with the big leagues came in 1984, when they fielded the Oklahoma Outlaws of the USFL.  The team only lasted one season, though. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting timeline. I'd add:

 

Hartford (Whalers 1974-1996, plus the Celtics regularly playing games there until the late '90s)

Omaha (1972-75 as the Kansas City-Omaha Kings)

 

I'd also possibly consider Greensboro, NC as a "pretender" - the ABA Carolina Cougars, albeit as a "regional franchise," played most of their games in Greensboro and were based here. The Minnesota Twins flirted (not very heavily) with moving to the area in the mid-90s, and the Carolina Hurricanes played in Greensboro for two seasons (1997-99) before their arena in Raleigh was completed.

 

Are we ignoring the early days of the NBA (Fort Wayne, Rochester, etc.) similar to how you'd ignore the early NFL teams in smaller cities (Duluth, Canton, etc.)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the interest.

 

Hartford was on the list the first time I made it back in the early 1990s (as a 70s city).  I've revised the list several times since then, of course.

 

The idea was kind of to represent all CURRENT Big League cities (or markets) and use the dates when they came in "for good".  Thus, yes.. I ignored Racine, Tri-Cities, Duluth, Fort Wayne, Rochester, Syracuse, etc.   And thus I did not include Omaha, and removed Hartford (who, IIRC, had an NFL team in the early days). 

I also covered only American markets, and the "Big 4" (though I did note competitor/alternate leagues in the text). 

 

 

There's one aspect, however, which sort of bugs me, and that is THE GAP which is present for Milwaukee.

 

Milwaukee had the Braves from 1953 to 1965, then they were moved to Atlanta. The Milwaukee Bucks entered the NBA in 1968-- thus Milwaukee had a three-year actual time gap in being a big-league city. 

 

Since the gap occurred in the middle of the 1960s and was only two calendar years (1966 and 1967), I let it slide.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Virginia is interesting, because the Northern part of the state (the area that is part of the DC Metro area) could be the future site of an NFL stadium for the Washington Football Team, but they would still be called the Washington Football Team despite being in Virginia.  It probably wouldn't count as it would be exactly like the Giants and Jets playing in New Jersey.  

 

Also with Louisville, once the NBA announces that they are going to expand again, the group in Louisville led by Dan Issel is going to try to make a bid, although I think it'll be Las Vegas and Seattle so that the NBA can move the T'Wolves to the East.  

 

In 2012, the Nets moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn, giving Brooklyn pro sports again for the first time since 1957.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is definitely pretty interesting. I was wondering what (or if) you thought of Austin. They're getting an MLS team next year and are the only city in the US that I occasionally here of in expansion/relocation talk that doesn't already have a team. I'm thinking they're a 2010s or 2020s pretender.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're including New Jersey as a suburban market in the 1970's shouldn't Long Island be in there too when the Islanders came around in '72.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, B-Rich said:

Milwaukee had the Braves from 1953 to 1965, then they were moved to Atlanta. The Milwaukee Bucks entered the NBA in 1968-- thus Milwaukee had a three-year actual time gap in being a big-league city. 

 

Since the gap occurred in the middle of the 1960s and was only two calendar years (1966 and 1967), I let it slide.


I would put Milwaukee in the Pre-WWII era since they had the Packers starting in 1933.  The 1939 NFL Championship was even played there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On 8/14/2020 at 5:57 PM, sportsfan7 said:

This is definitely pretty interesting. I was wondering what (or if) you thought of Austin. They're getting an MLS team next year and are the only city in the US that I occasionally here of in expansion/relocation talk that doesn't already have a team. I'm thinking they're a 2010s or 2020s pretender.

 

 Austin is going to make things interesting regarding this list, which I first started in the early 1990s.   As I stated earlier, I have stuck with those cities/markets which had teams in the "big four" (MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL).  MLS is coming up on 25 years; maybe I need to make it "the big five" and include Austin as the first team for the 20s when they actually take the field.   

 

 

On 8/14/2020 at 5:10 PM, GDAWG said:

In 2012, the Nets moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn, giving Brooklyn pro sports again for the first time since 1957.

On 8/14/2020 at 6:18 PM, tp49 said:

If you're including New Jersey as a suburban market in the 1970's shouldn't Long Island be in there too when the Islanders came around in '72.

 

It's a little subjective and tricky, but my determination for 'suburban' or "adjacent city/place" markets goes primarily by name/identifier.  The naming tradition of  "New Jersey" technically began with the ABA Americans in 1967, re-started with the move of the franchise back to NJ in 1977, and continued with the Colorado Rockies becoming the New Jersey Devils in 1982. Long Island did have the Islanders (and Nets) playing out in Nassau Coliseum... but they were named the New York Islanders and Nets.  To me that is no different from the Cleveland Cavaliers playing out in Richfield, the Dallas Cowboys playing in Irving/Arlington, the Detroit Lions or Pistons playing in Pontiac or Auburn Hills, or the Buffalo Bills playing in Orchard Park... Taking 'ownership' of a place via location name has a lot to do with it. 

 

"Brooklyn" as an identifier is also odd. As GDAWG noted, you had the Brooklyn Dodgers for years and years, and now you once have the Brooklyn Nets. But Brooklyn is legally and technically a borough of the City of New York, thus it doesn't pass a smell test for being listed separately, different name or not. 

 

 

 

On 8/14/2020 at 10:41 PM, NicDB said:


I would put Milwaukee in the Pre-WWII era since they had the Packers starting in 1933.  The 1939 NFL Championship was even played there.

 

This one surprised me and stumps me.  I did NOT know that the Packers had split games between Milwaukee and Green Bay annually since way back in 1933; I didn't know it went back that far. I remember it from when I was a kid in the 70s and the 80s, and I guess sort of figured it only went back to the days of County Stadium.  Very surprising.  I'm inclined to agree with you and am putting Milwaukee in the pre-WWII column, especially since it was an annual constant well through the time that Milwaukee entered the big leagues with their own teams. 

 

But then I wonder, should I change the status of Green Bay? When I was younger and even today, I STILL consider that Green Bay, despite having a separate name and being just over a hundred miles/just under 2 hours apart, is essentially the Milwaukee market.  They are in the same state, and think of it like this-- will Green Bay ever make a play for an MLB or NBA team, or will Milwaukee ever make a play for an NFL team?  None of those things will happen.  The still remaining  'green' and 'gold' season ticket split between the two cities' fans also tends to back that one-market thing up.  Still, being the "Green Bay Packers" for almost a hundred years has to account for something, so I think I will keep Green Bay as a separate listing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, B-Rich said:

But then I wonder, should I change the status of Green Bay? When I was younger and even today, I STILL consider that Green Bay, despite having a separate name and being just over a hundred miles/just under 2 hours apart, is essentially the Milwaukee market.  They are in the same state, and think of it like this-- will Green Bay ever make a play for an MLB or NBA team, or will Milwaukee ever make a play for an NFL team?  None of those things will happen.  The still remaining  'green' and 'gold' season ticket split between the two cities' fans also tends to back that one-market thing up.  Still, being the "Green Bay Packers" for almost a hundred years has to account for something, so I think I will keep Green Bay as a separate listing.

 

I don't know if it's quite the case anymore, but I know it used to be that the crowds at Lambeau from the vestigial County Stadium package were of a younger, louder, and drunker character than the rest of the schedule, which were a bit more staid. Another weird side effect of the old split is that Milwaukee wouldn't get the home game with the Bears but would usually get one with the Vikings, so between them being better than the Bears for a lot of those years and their games being at County Stadium, you still have a fair amount of people in the southeastern corner of the state who don't really get up for Bears games but despise the Vikings.

 

Green Bay is a separate media market from Milwaukee. The Milwaukee market is actually rather small, all things considered; you don't have to drive too far west to be in Madison territory, and you really don't have to drive too far south before you hit Kenosha and Chicago's sphere of influence. Sheboygan seems to be about as far north as it goes. I think Green Bay has a La Crosse/Eau Claire situation where some of the stations are in Green Bay and others are in Appleton or Wausau. However, their radio network has always been run out of WTMJ in Milwaukee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, B-Rich said:

It's a little subjective and tricky, but my determination for 'suburban' or "adjacent city/place" markets goes primarily by name/identifier.  The naming tradition of  "New Jersey" technically began with the ABA Americans in 1967, re-started with the move of the franchise back to NJ in 1977, and continued with the Colorado Rockies becoming the New Jersey Devils in 1982. Long Island did have the Islanders (and Nets) playing out in Nassau Coliseum... but they were named the New York Islanders and Nets.  To me that is no different from the Cleveland Cavaliers playing out in Richfield, the Dallas Cowboys playing in Irving/Arlington, the Detroit Lions or Pistons playing in Pontiac or Auburn Hills, or the Buffalo Bills playing in Orchard Park... Taking 'ownership' of a place via location name has a lot to do with it. 

 

"Brooklyn" as an identifier is also odd. As GDAWG noted, you had the Brooklyn Dodgers for years and years, and now you once have the Brooklyn Nets. But Brooklyn is legally and technically a borough of the City of New York, thus it doesn't pass a smell test for being listed separately, different name or not. 

Here's where I think your logic is flawed.  When it comes to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions and Pistons, and Buffalo Bills all played in their namesake cities before and sometimes after in the case of Cleveland and the two Detroit teams being in their suburban locations.  The New York Islanders who were named for the state and not the city, were founded and played in their suburban location until their ill fated move to Brooklyn.  The Island on the logo cuts off Brooklyn and Queens and always had.  A move that's thankfully being corrected.  Arguably, the Islanders were never a city team, the amount of the fanbase that hails from the city is minuscule and that's even while they played in the city.  There are no two ways about it that the New York Islanders are Long Island's team.

 

With the Nets, Nassau Coliseum was their third home on Long Island after the Long Island arena in Commack, and the Island Garden in West Hempstead but to me they're different due to the ABA not being one of the big four and not joining the NBA until after they moved back to New Jersey.

 

When you think about it Brooklyn as an identifier is not odd at all especially to people from and located in the New York City market.  When the Brooklyn Dodgers were founded (roughly 1884) and started playing, Brooklyn was an independent city.  It didn't become part of the City of New York until 1899 and if you know where to look you can find remnants of Brooklyn as it's own city but that's its own thread.  While now Brooklyn is part of NYC it has a very strong identity.  Brooklyn is viewed as tough, hip and cool.  The Nets decided to play on that brand when they moved across the harbor and into Brooklyn.  To me, and probably to most people from New York it passes the smell test with no problem. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the team moving to the Queens/Nassau border if we can ever start the country back up again, I would like for the Islanders to correct their logo so that it includes the entire physical island. I mocked it up once or twice but I'm too lazy to dig it out of my files and put it on imgur again, I'm probably going to go to bed early instead. It's what you'd think it'd look like. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, the admiral said:

 

I don't know if it's quite the case anymore, but I know it used to be that the crowds at Lambeau from the vestigial County Stadium package were of a younger, louder, and drunker character than the rest of the schedule, which were a bit more staid. Another weird side effect of the old split is that Milwaukee wouldn't get the home game with the Bears but would usually get one with the Vikings, so between them being better than the Bears for a lot of those years and their games being at County Stadium, you still have a fair amount of people in the southeastern corner of the state who don't really get up for Bears games but despise the Vikings.

 

Green Bay is a separate media market from Milwaukee. The Milwaukee market is actually rather small, all things considered; you don't have to drive too far west to be in Madison territory, and you really don't have to drive too far south before you hit Kenosha and Chicago's sphere of influence. Sheboygan seems to be about as far north as it goes. I think Green Bay has a La Crosse/Eau Claire situation where some of the stations are in Green Bay and others are in Appleton or Wausau. However, their radio network has always been run out of WTMJ in Milwaukee.

Background - Born and raised in Green Bay. I've lived the last 35 years of my life in the Milwaukee market.

 

The Milwaukee/Green Bay ticket holder differentiation has been stated in the opposite manner as often as the manner stated above. That is, the Milwaukee ticket holders are the quieter, need to be prompted by PA more than the Green Bay ticket holders. As one who has the Green Bay tickets, and has also attended the Milwaukee games, I'd say that teh amount of traffic on the road from here to there on any given Sunday would indicate that there is no actual difference in fanbase.

 

As to the games - once all the games were moved to GB, the teams that each market got were decided by the weeks in which they were played. Milwaukee initially got the 2nd and 6th home game (this was changed to the 5th when the 6th started to run into Thanksgiving too often). Any teams being doled about to one or the other ticket base was chance (not @Gothamite:-)) based on the schedule.

 

Definitely they are different markets. An hour west of Milwaukee (not far west of me) is where Madison TV appears on cable (along with Milwaukee in a small area). Kenosha is damn near Illinois already (and that is maybe 30 minutes south of Milwaukee). All of the Green Bay TV stations are located in Green Bay from a broadcast perspective. They each (I believe) have an Appleton office, but they aren't centered there. Nothing in Wausau -- that's a different market from GB.

 

As for rivals based on location -- a lot of that is based on who the better team is at the moment. However, SE Wisconsin being as close as it is to Chicago will make it far easier to find Bear fans here than Viking fans. Viking fans move here, but Bear fans grow up here.

 

So - disagree with a lot of what @the admiral has to say here. Yep - both are long-time and longterm Big League cities. Green Bay couldn't support an additional big league team of any type, and Milwaukee doesn't have the location available for a football team. Hockey was the reason that the Bradley Center (RIP) was built, but the Pettit's refused to pay the money Werz was asking to infringe on the Chicago NHL territory by getting a team in Milwaukee, so that eneded that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was under the impression that one of the two Milwaukee games was always Minnesota or Detroit, usually Minnesota. I'd have to check the logs, I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Lions played at Milwaukee County Stadium 14 times and 6 more in other Milwaukee area stadiums. The Vikings played 15 games in Milwaukee. The Bears played once, in 1974. The Chicago Cardinals played 11 games, all at State Fair Field, and the St Louis Cardinals played once.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, the admiral said:

 

I don't know if it's quite the case anymore, but I know it used to be that the crowds at Lambeau from the vestigial County Stadium package were of a younger, louder, and drunker character than the rest of the schedule, which were a bit more staid. Another weird side effect of the old split is that Milwaukee wouldn't get the home game with the Bears but would usually get one with the Vikings, so between them being better than the Bears for a lot of those years and their games being at County Stadium, you still have a fair amount of people in the southeastern corner of the state who don't really get up for Bears games but despise the Vikings.


The Lions are the division rival I recall seeing the most at County Stadium.  Although I do remember the all the talk of gold package (Milwaukee) fans being rowdier than the green package (Green Bay) fans once all the games were moved to Lambeau.

I can tell you that, at least locally, Vikings fans are known as the rudest, most obnoxious fan base that comes to Green Bay.  Bears fans, by comparison, are seen as quite pleasant and fun to drink with.  (Imagine reading that last sentence in 1985).

 

5 hours ago, the admiral said:

Green Bay is a separate media market from Milwaukee. The Milwaukee market is actually rather small, all things considered; you don't have to drive too far west to be in Madison territory, and you really don't have to drive too far south before you hit Kenosha and Chicago's sphere of influence. Sheboygan seems to be about as far north as it goes. I think Green Bay has a La Crosse/Eau Claire situation where some of the stations are in Green Bay and others are in Appleton or Wausau. However, their radio network has always been run out of WTMJ in Milwaukee.


The Milwaukee media market is a 75-mile radius that overlaps with other markets at the extremities.  That's common for most major markets.  Although once you get past Milwaukee and its suburbs, there isn't much of a population save for the occasional Kenosha or Racine.  But honestly, I rather like that the Chicago and Milwaukee spheres of influence have began to overlap.  If living "up north" for the past year and some change has taught me anything, it's how much more Milwaukee has in common with Chicago than it has with anywhere else in Wisconsin.

The Green Bay-Appleton market is named as such to acknowledge that while the Fox Cities (Appleton) have the biggest population base in the area, Green Bay is the biggest city with all the TV stations.  Only one station (WACY 32) is, in fact, licensed to Appleton; and its studios are still in Green Bay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Sec19Row53 said:

The Milwaukee/Green Bay ticket holder differentiation has been stated in the opposite manner as often as the manner stated above. That is, the Milwaukee ticket holders are the quieter, need to be prompted by PA more than the Green Bay ticket holders. As one who has the Green Bay tickets, and has also attended the Milwaukee games, I'd say that teh amount of traffic on the road from here to there on any given Sunday would indicate that there is no actual difference in fanbase.


I think both of you are correct.  I grew up in Milwaukee (Eastside and Brown Deer) and currently live in Green Bay.

I attended 3 games at County Stadium and 2 at Lambeau between 1989 and 1994.  I recall Green Bay having a significantly older fanbase.  Passionate for sure, but not nearly as drunk and boisterous as the games at County Stadium.  I definitely heard more language my pre-teen ears probably didn't need to hear downstate.

Now the trend has come full circle. While the gold package still has a significant Greater Milwaukee element, its share of the overall fanbase isn't nearly what it was in the 90s.  Lambeau Field's seating capacity has been expanded a lot since then, and that has opened gold package tickets to a lot more new fans who aren't necessarily from the Milwaukee area (or anywhere in Wisconsin for that matter).  Now the green package games are rowdier because now it has become the significantly more localized fanbase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I figured with the explosion of the secondary market, everything's pretty much the same now -- STHs put their seats up and people grab what they can, and so the old Green Bay and Milwaukee cores have been significantly diluted.

 

As for the Bears/Vikings split around southeast WI, I'm not saying there weren't people who took the Bears rivalry seriously, because that'd be crazy (especially as Chicago exurbia has expanded into Wisconsin since the mid-'90s), just that I knew of a fair deal of people who kinda shrugged it off and were much more concerned with the Vikings. I will also add that people who adopted the Packers from afar don't really seem to feel the Bears rivalry either. But if you're in the Disputed Zone that runs roughly from Kenosha to Beloit, yeah, plenty of people hate the Bears and all things Chicago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean, things tend to get hazy near borders.  Although I think you might be overestimating Chicago's influence on the Wisconsin side.  It's not like there's any shortage of bars in Chicagoland that cater to Packers/Brewers fans.  It was simply a matter of time before "Chiwaukee" became a thing (no thanks to the morons in Racine County who scrubbed the KRM METRA line).  Apart from Cubs fans, MU kids, and the Karens (who you know actually live in Lake County); Milwaukeeans generally like Chicago.  In fact, I can't say I've ever known someone from Milwaukee who didn't enjoy a good day trip to Chi City.   It's Green Bay/Northern Wisconsin who has the massive hate boner for all things Chicago. 

If it seems like the Milwaukee area has more scorn for the Vikings, it's probably because the Minneapolis people who visit Milwaukee tend to be obnoxiously pretentious.  I tended bar for years in Milwaukee.  If I had $100 for everytime someone from Minneapolis called Milwaukee "dirty" or claimed Minneapolis was SOOOOOOO PROGRESSIVE (like it's not far and away the whitest big city in this part of the country), I'd be living in a condo on Lake Michigan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Milwaukee is kind of a dirty city, but I don't use that as an insult in this case.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, NicDB said:


I think both of you are correct.  I grew up in Milwaukee (Eastside and Brown Deer) and currently live in Green Bay.

I attended 3 games at County Stadium and 2 at Lambeau between 1989 and 1994.  I recall Green Bay having a significantly older fanbase.  Passionate for sure, but not nearly as drunk and boisterous as the games at County Stadium.  I definitely heard more language my pre-teen ears probably didn't need to hear downstate.

Now the trend has come full circle. While the gold package still has a significant Greater Milwaukee element, its share of the overall fanbase isn't nearly what it was in the 90s.  Lambeau Field's seating capacity has been expanded a lot since then, and that has opened gold package tickets to a lot more new fans who aren't necessarily from the Milwaukee area (or anywhere in Wisconsin for that matter).  Now the green package games are rowdier because now it has become the significantly more localized fanbase.

Hehe - I'm glad I re-read what you said.. I had typed up something totally arguing against what you DIDN'T say 🙂 Embarrassment avoided!

 

7 hours ago, the admiral said:

I was under the impression that one of the two Milwaukee games was always Minnesota or Detroit, usually Minnesota. I'd have to check the logs, I guess.

Going back to 2005. I didn't look to see when the change was from the 6th home game to the 5th, but I am reasonably sure it was back in the 90s.
 

2020 – Atl, Chi

2019 – Den, Oak

2018 – Min, Mia

2017 – Cin, Det

2016 – NYG, Ind

2015 – KC, Det

2014 – Min, Phi

2013 – Det, Phi

2012 – Chi, Ari

2011 – Den, TB

2010 – Det, Dal

2009 – Cin, Dal

2008 – Dal, Chi

2007 – SD, Min

2006 – NO, NE

2005 – TB, Min

 

6 hours ago, sportsfan7 said:

The Lions played at Milwaukee County Stadium 14 times and 6 more in other Milwaukee area stadiums. The Vikings played 15 games in Milwaukee. The Bears played once, in 1974. The Chicago Cardinals played 11 games, all at State Fair Field, and the St Louis Cardinals played once.

I hadn't even thought about the time back when the games were actually played IN Milwaukee.  I believe that was at the Packers' discretion. Prior to Lambeau being renovated and suites being added for the first time, it was common for teams to request playing in Milwaukee. The gate wasn't significantly different, so teams would choose Milwaukee on the basis of a nightlife compared to not 🙂 I DO recall that the Packers did NOT want to have the Bears playing in Milwaukee, or rather, DID want them in Green Bay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.