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Is your market overextended?


Viper

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Now, considering many of the cities that make the author's list of the most overextended pro sports markets in North America, whose teams aren't going away anytime soon, this article should be taken with a grain few grains pinch teaspoon Mason jar 55-gallon drum 18-wheeler full of salt. Still, for the sake of stirring the pot, here is the complete list:

  1. Denver: None of their teams are in any serious danger of moving, which (along with the absence of Miami South Florida) calls the entire list into question.
  2. Cleveland: Cavs are their only team remotely in jeopardy.
  3. Pittsburgh: MLB's Pirates may suck on the field but they're not going anywhere, much less the other, more successful outfits in town.
  4. Tampa-St. Pete: The first city on the list with any team in real danger of leaving (the Rays). Of course if that happens the market may not be so overextended anymore.
  5. Kansas City: See Pittsburgh - though at least Pittsburgh has a healthy pro tenant for their recently built indoor arena.
  6. Milwaukee: Bradley Center is starting to show its age (on the inside at least), and the Bucks have started clamoring for new digs but aren't likely to get them anytime soon.
  7. St. Louis: The Rams are the most likely candidates to skip town. The Blues, conceivable but just barely so.
  8. Phoenix: May not be so overextended by this time next year, if you get my drift (and I think you do).
  9. Minneapolis-St. Paul: The Twins and Wild are in good shape. The Vikings should be too, if they can finally get their stadium deal done. The Wolves are the weakest link. Goodbye?
  10. Cincinnati: Sorry Cincy fans, you're stuck with the Bungles no matter how overextended your market is. :P
  11. Buffalo: See St. Louis, sans MLB.
  12. Green Bay: For all intents and purposes the Packers' market area is the entire state of Wisconsin.
  13. Detroit: In spite of the city's woes, none of its teams are in any real danger at the moment.
  14. New Orleans: The NFL is here to stay. The NBA, maybe not so much.
  15. San Francisco-Oakland: Of all this market's current teams, only the Giants, Sharks and Earthquakes are locks to remain where they are for the foreseeable future. Even if the others stay in the Bay Area they're more likely to shift southward toward San Jose than stay in Frisco or Oakland. And let's not get started on Al Davis...
  16. Nashville: The Preds aren't quite out of the woods yet. The Titans aren't going anywhere.
  17. Winnipeg: True North is convinced the Jets will work out here. Then again the author's survey didn't take the CFL into account, so Winnipeg may need to go further up this list.
  18. Salt Lake City: See Cleveland.
  19. Charlotte: See New Orleans.
  20. Indianapolis: See Cleveland and Salt Lake.

Aside from the aforementioned South Florida, it's also surprising Atlanta didn't make the list as well (though maybe the Thrashers leaving was just enough to put that market back in healthy territory). Also it seems to me they should have accounted for major college sports programs in these markets as well. That would certainly have pushed Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Cincinnati, San Fran and Salt Lake farther up the list.

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Now, considering many of the cities that make the author's list of the most overextended pro sports markets in North America, whose teams aren't going away anytime soon, this article should be taken with a grain few grains pinch teaspoon Mason jar 55-gallon drum 18-wheeler full of salt. Still, for the sake of stirring the pot, here is the complete list:

  1. Denver: None of their teams are in any serious danger of moving, which (along with the absence of Miami South Florida) calls the entire list into question.
  2. Cleveland: Cavs are their only team remotely in jeopardy.
  3. Pittsburgh: MLB's Pirates may suck on the field but they're not going anywhere, much less the other, more successful outfits in town.
  4. Tampa-St. Pete: The first city on the list with any team in real danger of leaving (the Rays). Of course if that happens the market may not be so overextended anymore.
  5. Kansas City: See Pittsburgh - though at least Pittsburgh has a healthy pro tenant for their recently built indoor arena.
  6. Milwaukee: Bradley Center is starting to show its age (on the inside at least), and the Bucks have started clamoring for new digs but aren't likely to get them anytime soon.
  7. St. Louis: The Rams are the most likely candidates to skip town. The Blues, conceivable but just barely so.
  8. Phoenix: May not be so overextended by this time next year, if you get my drift (and I think you do).
  9. Minneapolis-St. Paul: The Twins and Wild are in good shape. The Vikings should be too, if they can finally get their stadium deal done. The Wolves are the weakest link. Goodbye?
  10. Cincinnati: Sorry Cincy fans, you're stuck with the Bungles no matter how overextended your market is. :P
  11. Buffalo: See St. Louis, sans MLB.
  12. Green Bay: For all intents and purposes the Packers' market area is the entire state of Wisconsin.
  13. Detroit: In spite of the city's woes, none of its teams are in any real danger at the moment.
  14. New Orleans: The NFL is here to stay. The NBA, maybe not so much.
  15. San Francisco-Oakland: Of all this market's current teams, only the Giants, Sharks and Earthquakes are locks to remain where they are for the foreseeable future. Even if the others stay in the Bay Area they're more likely to shift southward toward San Jose than stay in Frisco or Oakland. And let's not get started on Al Davis...
  16. Nashville: The Preds aren't quite out of the woods yet. The Titans aren't going anywhere.
  17. Winnipeg: True North is convinced the Jets will work out here. Then again the author's survey didn't take the CFL into account, so Winnipeg may need to go further up this list.
  18. Salt Lake City: See Cleveland.
  19. Charlotte: See New Orleans.
  20. Indianapolis: See Cleveland and Salt Lake.

Aside from the aforementioned South Florida, it's also surprising Atlanta didn't make the list as well (though maybe the Thrashers leaving was just enough to put that market back in healthy territory). Also it seems to me they should have accounted for major college sports programs in these markets as well. That would certainly have pushed Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Cincinnati, San Fran and Salt Lake farther up the list.

All the author did was take his own December 2009 story about TPI and possible markets and use the most current economic data combined with thought of NBA contraction from David Stern's mouth last week, the Farmers Field vote by the LA City Council, and move of the Thrashers into a refreshed article. The economic data is real, but that 2009 story has been discussed multiple times here since it's publishing, but in reality, the author is Rick Reilly-ing himself,

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Interesting stuff here. I just want to clarify real quick though - when you said "see Cleveland" regarding SLC, were you implying the Jazz or RSL were remotely in jeopardy like the Cavs were? I totally don't mean to be argumentative at all, but I think both teams have solid support and are in no danger whatsoever. RSL was in some jeopardy a good 3-4 years ago (even rumored at one point to have considered a move to St. Louis), but since the Cup win in '09, the team is in really good shape. Again, I'm just simply throwing in my two cents as an SLC'er (and I may have interpreted what you meant wrong, anyways. Hence me wanting to clarify :) )

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Miami won't have any teams in danger of moving until the Florida Panthers are finally exposed as some sort of elaborate money laundering scheme, so it wouldn't make any sense for them to be on a list like this.

What the article doesn't seem to take into account is that while Milwaukee and Pittsburgh have no right to be three-team/multiple-college-team towns based on money and population and stuff, people from Milwaukee and Pittsburgh really like sports. You can't just go with simple bean-counting on this stuff.

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Miami won't have any teams in danger of moving until the Florida Panthers are finally exposed as some sort of elaborate money laundering scheme, so it wouldn't make any sense for them to be on a list like this.

What the article doesn't seem to take into account is that while Milwaukee and Pittsburgh have no right to be three-team/multiple-college-team towns based on money and population and stuff, people from Milwaukee and Pittsburgh really like sports. You can't just go with simple bean-counting on this stuff.

No kidding. If you did LA and the SF Bay Area would have some of the best fans on the planet. But we all know neither city is anywhere near the most loyal and greatest at following (and spending) on their teams.

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Boston has about a dozen significant New England cities relatively nearby, and even New York is just a train ride away. Denver isn't like Boston at all.

Also, it turns out that nobody really likes the Avs that much when they're not Quebec City's ready-made contender dropped fresh into their laps, so all their times [sic] aren't doing that well.

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As far as the Cavaliers go, if anyone is to blame if they DO fold/move to another city, it is the blubbering cryaby :censored: fans who abandoned the team when James made the smart move (for less money let's not forget) to Miami where he had a much better shot at winning at title. Staying in Cleveland, there was no way the Cavs get anywhere near a title for at least 4 years, hell, they don;t even get into the Finals.

As for the article itself it brings to mind a discussion on another message board about expansion by the various pro sports league and one poster opined that mlb could easily add no less then five new teams, which I find laughable. They said, IIRC, one team in Vegas, one in Northern Virginia, one in Carolina, one in Portland Oregon and one somewhere else.

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One of the problems I see with this is that they use personal income which doesen't take into account cost of living expenses. What they need is residual income which actually takes this into account. Residual income however is also much harder to figure out, so they may have been able to do it.

They rate the income base for the MLB as double that for the NFL, even though the NFL pulls in way more revenue. Why that is, they don't say.

There might be something to it, but I have too many questions about how they used the numbers they obtained to take this seriously.

It also doesen't take into account other entertainment options, which has to be considered a huge factor in how a market can support a team. That's in part why places like Miami make for terrible pro sports markets even though they have a very large population and alot of money. There's just too many other things to do there.

The best correlation I've found for that is actually average temperature. The lower the temperature, typically the more supportive the fans are. Obvioulsy it doesen't work across the board, but its the best I've found so far.

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It also doesen't take into account other entertainment options, which has to be considered a huge factor in how a market can support a team. That's in part why places like Miami make for terrible pro sports markets even though they have a very large population and alot of money. There's just too many other things to do there.

That doesn't explain NYC where there there is a huge population, oil tankers full of money floating around and a gazillion things to do besides go see a :censored:ty Knicks/Rangers/Mets game yet none of the NYC based teams are moving/folding.

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It also doesen't take into account other entertainment options, which has to be considered a huge factor in how a market can support a team. That's in part why places like Miami make for terrible pro sports markets even though they have a very large population and alot of money. There's just too many other things to do there.

That doesn't explain NYC where there there is a huge population, oil tankers full of money floating around and a gazillion things to do besides go see a :censored:ty Knicks/Rangers/Mets game yet none of the NYC based teams are moving/folding.

Islanders?...

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It also doesen't take into account other entertainment options, which has to be considered a huge factor in how a market can support a team. That's in part why places like Miami make for terrible pro sports markets even though they have a very large population and alot of money. There's just too many other things to do there.

That doesn't explain NYC where there there is a huge population, oil tankers full of money floating around and a gazillion things to do besides go see a :censored:ty Knicks/Rangers/Mets game yet none of the NYC based teams are moving/folding.

Islanders?...

I'd make a counter point to this but its not even worth the effort. People just need to stop responding to DuckFats altogether.

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It also doesen't take into account other entertainment options, which has to be considered a huge factor in how a market can support a team. That's in part why places like Miami make for terrible pro sports markets even though they have a very large population and alot of money. There's just too many other things to do there.

That doesn't explain NYC where there there is a huge population, oil tankers full of money floating around and a gazillion things to do besides go see a :censored:ty Knicks/Rangers/Mets game yet none of the NYC based teams are moving/folding.

Islanders?...

I thought about them, but they have never been associated with NYC.

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It also doesen't take into account other entertainment options, which has to be considered a huge factor in how a market can support a team. That's in part why places like Miami make for terrible pro sports markets even though they have a very large population and alot of money. There's just too many other things to do there.

That doesn't explain NYC where there there is a huge population, oil tankers full of money floating around and a gazillion things to do besides go see a :censored:ty Knicks/Rangers/Mets game yet none of the NYC based teams are moving/folding.

Islanders?...

I'd make a counter point to this but its not even worth the effort. People just need to stop responding to DuckFats altogether.

That's because your counterpoint would be lame, and can't touch the absolute truth of my post.

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Philly's not on this list either, despite the fact that the Phillies' best ever attendance is in the 66, 67000 range and now they're struggling to get 45000 a game. The city simply cannot support four sports teams adequately.

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Interesting stuff here. I just want to clarify real quick though - when you said "see Cleveland" regarding SLC, were you implying the Jazz or RSL were remotely in jeopardy like the Cavs were? I totally don't mean to be argumentative at all, but I think both teams have solid support and are in no danger whatsoever. RSL was in some jeopardy a good 3-4 years ago (even rumored at one point to have considered a move to St. Louis), but since the Cup win in '09, the team is in really good shape. Again, I'm just simply throwing in my two cents as an SLC'er (and I may have interpreted what you meant wrong, anyways. Hence me wanting to clarify :) )

The Jazz are in danger (however miniscule) on account of being a non-marquee, tiny-market franchise in a financially troubled league in the middle of a season-crippling lockout. In this environment, no NBA team not called the Lakers, Celtics, Knicks, Bulls, Mavs or Heat is 100% safe. Granted, that's a league problem rather than a market problem, and the Jazz have plenty of company around the NBA in that regard, but I presume that distinction won't be of much consolation to Jazz fans should the worst-case scenario come to pass.

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Interesting stuff here. I just want to clarify real quick though - when you said "see Cleveland" regarding SLC, were you implying the Jazz or RSL were remotely in jeopardy like the Cavs were? I totally don't mean to be argumentative at all, but I think both teams have solid support and are in no danger whatsoever. RSL was in some jeopardy a good 3-4 years ago (even rumored at one point to have considered a move to St. Louis), but since the Cup win in '09, the team is in really good shape. Again, I'm just simply throwing in my two cents as an SLC'er (and I may have interpreted what you meant wrong, anyways. Hence me wanting to clarify :) )

The Jazz are in danger (however miniscule) on account of being a non-marquee, tiny-market franchise in a financially troubled league in the middle of a season-crippling lockout. In this environment, no NBA team not called the Lakers, Celtics, Knicks, Bulls, Mavs or Heat is 100% safe. Granted, that's a league problem rather than a market problem, and the Jazz have plenty of company around the NBA in that regard, but I presume that distinction won't be of much consolation to Jazz fans should the worst-case scenario come to pass.

When you factor the NBA lockout (and the fallout thereof), I can see why the Utah Jazz (or at least Salt Lake) are mentioned, as they are in some danger of becoming uncompetitive, moving out of the state, or folding. However, I think that the odds, like Viper said, are miniscule. A perfect combination of all the wrong things would need to happen in order for the team to fail both on-court and off.

I'm talking a Jazz fan's worst-nightmare, doomsday-level material*, like:

  1. David Stern going full douchebag-mode**, voiding all current NBA contracts, holding a video game-like fantasy draft, then putting Utah low in the order when the lockout is lifted. The Jazz slip into mediocrity a la Minnesota and jump to the top of relocation candidates, losing all but 1-2 of their young, talented players.
  2. Mr. Stern mentions the Jazz as a candidate for contraction out of nowhere (instead of the Timberwolves, Hornets, or Kings), like Bud Selig did with the Twins (and not, say, the Devil Rays) in the early 2000s. Fans get disillusioned with the league and team and stop showing up en masse.
  3. Starts making Seattle-like threats for the city to build a new arena, or the team will move. The Commish finds another out-of-town good 'ole boy to buy the team and persuades the Millers to sell.
  4. Management, despite painting a positive image, inwardly gives up, trades talent away for cash, and seek to sell. Ownership is caught red-handed in talking to out-of-town ownership groups (or the league) in trying to sell the team to someone who wants to move it (or, in the league's case, fold it). Greg Miller announces that he'll invest the money into building a NASCAR track. :P

If you ask me, I actually think that the lockout will be beneficial to a team like the Jazz long-term, should a hard salary cap (if the owners get their way) or a revenue sharing (if the players do) system be implemented. The Jazz have been known for making the most out of what they have, and even a little extra money could be enough to give them the pieces that they need to rise to the top of the league in a few years. The big question is, however, whether management plays their cards right.

Yes, nothing is guaranteed, good or bad, but it seems as though the future looks more positive than negative for the Utah Jazz at this point. I know that I'm being a homer here, but I'm stating what I think is happening.***

Anyways, that's my thoughts on the Jazz being remotely in any kind of danger, and where they plan on heading.

*Again, this isn't anything based on reports; just the absolute worst-case scenarios.

**It could be argued that Mr. Stern has been in douchebag mode for quite some time.

***Again, I don't think the worst-case scenario is what will happen; if you're reading "what I think is happening" and thinking I'm being pessimistic, you didn't read through the post well enough. :P

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