With all of the professional sports teams in the U.S., you would think that nobody had anything to complain about, right? Well, there are some pretty populous cities on the North American continent that do not have a professional sports team, leaving many of the residents wondering why. In order to get a better understanding on this topic, let’s compare some of the largest cities without sports teams to some of the smallest cities with sports teams.
Largest Cities Without Sports Teams:
Austin, Texas. Population – 820,000
El Paso, Texas. Population – 665,000
Louisville, Kentucky. Population – 600,000
Las Vegas, Nevada. Population – 595,000
Albuquerque, New Mexico – 555,000
Smallest Cities With Sports Teams:
Green Bay, Wisconsin. Population – 105,000
Salt Lake City, Utah. Population – 190,000
Orlando, Florida. Population – 240,000
Buffalo, New York. Population – 260,000
New Orleans, Louisiana. Population – 370,000
The first thing you will notice from the list above is that all of the largest cities without sports teams are at least twice as large as most of the smallest cities with professional sports teams. With that great of a difference between the two, you would think that the larger cities should be able to sustain a pro sports team, but that may not be the case.
For one, the TV markets in the large cities listed above are relatively small compared to their population sizes, and with media revenue driving many pro sports teams, this may be the major reason why these cities won’t be seeing a pro team anytime soon.
While some of the smaller cities, such as Green Bay, may have a tiny population, the surrounding area as a whole contributes to their sports franchise. The Green Bay Packers are the only pro football team in the state, which may be why the smaller city can sustain the franchise.
When you look at Austin, which has a population 8 times larger than Green Bay, you have to think about the pro sports teams that are already in the state. With two pro football teams, two baseball, three basketball, and one hockey, the state of Texas might have reached their limit in the amount of pro sports teams that it can sustain, unlike Wisconsin, who would not have a pro football team without the Packers.
Overall, there are many factors that play into where professional sports franchises are located, and population might be a lower variable than we may have expected. What it boils down to is sustainability, and as the statistics show, population is not always directly linked to sustainability.