List of American and Canadian cities by number of major professional sports franchises

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Number of NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL teams by City, 2012.svg

This is a list of metropolitan areas in the United States and Canada categorized by the number of professional sports franchises in their metropolitan areas.

Major professional sports leagues[edit]

The major professional sports leagues, or simply major leagues, in the United States and Canada are the highest professional competitions of team sports in the two countries. Although individual sports such as golf, tennis, and auto racing are also very popular, the term is usually limited to team sports.

The term "major league" was first used in 1921 in reference to Major League Baseball (MLB), the top level of professional American baseball. Today, the major northern North America professional team sports leagues are Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), and the National Hockey League (NHL).[1]

These four leagues are also commonly referred to as the Big Four. Each of these is the richest professional club competition in its sport worldwide. The best players can become cultural icons in both countries and elsewhere in the world, because the leagues enjoy a significant place in popular culture in the US and Canada. The NFL has 32 teams, and the others have 30 each. The vast majority of major league teams are concentrated in the most populous metropolitan areas of the United States.

Every major league averages 15,000 fans in attendance per game or higher as of 2011.

Baseball, football, and hockey have had professional leagues for over 100 years; early leagues such as the National Association, Ohio League, and National Hockey Association formed the basis of the modern MLB, NFL and NHL respectively. Basketball is a relatively new development; the NBA evolved from the National Basketball League and its splinter group the Basketball Association of America, taking on its current form in 1949.

Other notable leagues include Major League Soccer (MLS), the Canadian Football League (CFL), the Arena Football League (AFL), Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the National Lacrosse League (NLL) and the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The CFL and MLS are other popular leagues in both countries. Therefore, this list includes a ranking by teams in the Big Four (B4), and a separate ranking also including teams in the CFL and MLS, called the Big Six (B6).

Metropolitan area[edit]

Though teams are listed here by metropolitan area, the distribution and support of teams within an area can reveal regional fractures below that level, whether by neighborhood, rival cities within a media market or separate markets entirely. Baseball teams provide illustrations for several of these models. In New York City, the Yankees are popularly dubbed the "Bronx Bombers" for their home borough and generally command the loyalties of fans from the Bronx, parts of Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan, Long Island, parts of North Jersey and Westchester County, New York, while the Mets play in Queens and draw support from Queens, Brooklyn and parts of Long Island, revealing a split by neighborhood. The San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics represent rival cities within the Bay Area, a single media market. Though the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles share a metro area, their cities anchor separate media markets and hold distinctly separate cultural identities. In Los Angeles, the Lakers and Clippers share an arena (Staples Center), and media coverage is split amongst different broadcasters in the metro area.

The largest metropolitan area without one of the Big Four teams is Las Vegas, which is the 34th largest market in Northern America. This is largely due to concerns of how a team in Las Vegas would affect the sports gaming industry. At the same time, football, basketball and baseball have all considered putting a team in the area, and for a brief time in 1994, the CFL (during its period of American expansion) had a team in the city; however, the Las Vegas Posse was a complete failure in the area and folded after one season. The smallest to have one of the Big Four is Green Bay as the 146th largest metropolitan area, though much of its fan base is drawn from nearby Milwaukee, the 35th largest; the smallest stand-alone metropolitan area to have one of the Big Four is 78th-largest Winnipeg (Jets, NHL), while 54th-largest New Orleans is the smallest to have more than one (New Orleans Pelicans and New Orleans Saints).

List of teams by urban area[edit]

The following list contains all urban areas in the United States and Canada containing at least one team in any of the six major leagues. The table contains the population rank based on their urban population as compiled by Demographia,[2] the number of teams in the big four leagues (B4) and the big six leagues (B6), and the city's teams in the National Football League (NFL),[3] Major League Baseball (MLB),[4] the National Basketball Association (NBA),[5] the National Hockey League (NHL),[6] Major League Soccer (MLS)[7] and the Canadian Football League (CFL).[8]

Urban area Country Pop.
rank
Population B4 B6 NFL MLB NBA NHL MLS CFL
New York City United States 1 20,661,000 9 10 Giants
Jets
Yankees
Mets
Knicks
Nets
Rangers
Islanders
Devils
Red Bulls[note 1]
Los Angeles United States 2 15,250,000 6 8 [note 2] Dodgers
Angels
Lakers
Clippers
Kings
Ducks
Galaxy
Chivas USA
San Francisco Bay Area United States 6 5,996,000 6 7 49ers
Raiders
Giants
Athletics
Warriors Sharks[note 3] Earthquakes
Chicago United States 3 9,238,000 5 6 Bears Cubs
White Sox
Bulls[note 4] Blackhawks Fire
Dallas-Fort Worth United States 5 6,077,000 4 5 Cowboys Rangers Mavericks Stars FC Dallas
Toronto Canada 4 6,054,000 3 5 [note 5] Blue Jays Raptors Maple Leafs[note 6] Toronto FC Argonauts
Philadelphia United States 9 5,530,000 4 5 Eagles Phillies 76ers Flyers Union
Washington, D.C. United States 11 4,792,000 4 5 Redskins Nationals Wizards Capitals D.C. United
Boston United States 12 4,499,000 4 5 Patriots Red Sox Celtics Bruins Revolution
Denver United States 20 2,535,000 4 5 Broncos Rockies Nuggets Avalanche Rapids
Miami United States 7 5,817,000 4 4 Dolphins Marlins Heat Panthers [note 7]
Phoenix United States 13 4,174,000 4 4 Cardinals Diamondbacks Suns Coyotes
Detroit United States 14 3,738,000 4 4 Lions Tigers Pistons Red Wings
Minneapolis–Saint Paul United States 18 2,683,000 4 4 Vikings Twins Timberwolves Wild
Houston United States 8 5,567,000 3 4 Texans Astros Rockets Dynamo
Atlanta United States 10 4,849,000 3 3 Falcons Braves Hawks [note 8] [note 9]
Tampa Bay Area United States 19 2,592,000 3 3 Buccaneers Rays Lightning [note 10]
St. Louis United States 22 2,194,000 3 3 Rams Cardinals [note 11] Blues
Cleveland United States 29 1,774,000 3 3 Browns Indians Cavaliers [note 12]
Pittsburgh United States 30 1,738,000 3 3 Steelers Pirates [note 13] Penguins
Seattle United States 16 3,208,000 2 3 Seahawks Mariners [note 14] Sounders
Kansas City United States 32 1,581,000 2 3 Chiefs Royals [note 15] [note 16] Sporting
San Diego United States 17 3,077,000 2 2 Chargers Padres [note 17]
Baltimore United States 21 2,257,000 2 2 Ravens Orioles [note 18] [note 19]
Cincinnati United States 31 1,649,000 2 2 Bengals Reds [note 20]
Indianapolis United States 33 1,560,000 2 2 Colts Pacers
Milwaukee United States 37 1,392,000 2 2 [note 21] Brewers Bucks
Charlotte United States 38 1,341,000 2 2 Panthers Hornets
Nashville United States 45 1,030,000 2 2 Titans Predators
Buffalo United States 51 932,000 2 2 Bills [note 22] Sabres
New Orleans United States 53 911,000 2 2 Saints Pelicans
Montreal Canada 15 3,824,000 1 3 [note 23] Canadiens Impact Alouettes
Vancouver Canada 23 2,476,000 1 3 [note 24] Canucks Whitecaps Lions
Portland United States 26 1,956,000 1 2 Trail Blazers Timbers
Columbus United States 36 1,418,000 1 2 Blue Jackets Crew
Calgary Canada 42 1,214,000 1 2 Flames Stampeders
Salt Lake City United States 44 1,097,000 1 2 Jazz Real Salt Lake
Edmonton Canada 48 1,159,000 1 2 Oilers Eskimos
Ottawa Canada 50 1,236,000 1 2 Senators Redblacks
Winnipeg Canada 68 730,000 1 2 Jets Blue Bombers
Orlando United States 25 1,983,000 1 1 Magic [note 25]
San Antonio United States 27 1,881,000 1 1 [note 26] Spurs [note 27]
Sacramento United States 28 1,837,000 1 1 Kings [note 28]
Oklahoma City United States 39 1,262,000 1 1 Thunder
Jacksonville United States 41 1,135,000 1 1 Jaguars
Memphis United States 43 1,099,000 1 1 [note 29] Grizzlies [note 30]
Raleigh United States 49 965,000 1 1 Hurricanes
Hamilton Canada 77 721,053 0 1 [note 31] Tiger-Cats
Green Bay United States 207,000 1 1 Packers
Regina Canada 210,000 0 1 Roughriders
Totals 122 150 32 30 30 30 23[note 32] 9
Notes
  1. ^ New York City FC intends to begin playing in the 2015 MLS season.[9]
  2. ^ Los Angeles has hosted two NFL teams over the years. However, L.A. has not hosted a team since the 1994 season when the Los Angeles Rams moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and the Los Angeles Raiders returned to Oakland, California. The Los Angeles Chargers also played a single season in the American Football League before relocating to San Diego.
  3. ^ The California Golden Seals were an NHL expansion team which played from 196776. Initially named California Seals, the team was renamed Oakland Seals part-way through the 1967–68 season, and then to California Golden Seals in 1970. They eventually moved to Cleveland to become the Cleveland Barons in 1976. In 1978, the Barons merged with the Minnesota North Stars. In 1991, the former owners of the Barons – George and Gordon Gund – returned NHL ice hockey to the Bay Area with the expansion San Jose Sharks.
  4. ^ Chicago has had two prior NBA teams: the Stags existed from 1946 to 1950 before folding, and the Chicago Packers/Zephyrs played from 1961 to 1963, before moving to Baltimore and, later, Washington, D.C. (now playing as the Wizards).
  5. ^ Toronto-based Rogers Communications has a sharing agreement with the NFL's Buffalo Bills to lease the team for one regular season game each year. It is not counted in this tally as a Toronto team.
  6. ^ The Hamilton Tigers played in the NHL from 1920–1925. They relocated to New York City in 1926 to become the New York Americans.
  7. ^ Miami Fusion F.C. was a MLS club located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that played from 1998 to 2001 when they folded. Also, the Miami MLS team was founded in 2014, and the year scheduled to play is pending due to a stadium agreement.
  8. ^ The NHL expanded to Atlanta in 1972 with the Atlanta Flames, but the team departed for Calgary, Alberta in 1980 to become the Calgary Flames. In 1999 another expansion franchise, the Atlanta Thrashers, was established but this team moved to Winnipeg and became the Winnipeg Jets in 2011.
  9. ^ Atlanta MLS team intends to begin playing in the 2017 MLS season.[10]
  10. ^ The Tampa Bay Mutiny was a charter franchise of MLS in 1996. However, the league folded the franchise in 2001.[11]
  11. ^ St. Louis has been home to two NBA teams: the St. Louis Hawks, who moved to Atlanta, Georgia and became the Atlanta Hawks in 1968, and the St. Louis Bombers. St. Louis was also home to the American Basketball Association's Spirits of St. Louis before the ABA–NBA merger in 1976.
  12. ^ The California Golden Seals of the NHL relocated to Cleveland for the 1976–77 season and were renamed the Barons. However, the team was merged into the Minnesota North Stars following the 1977–78 season.
  13. ^ Pittsburgh had one of the founding members of what became the NBA: the Pittsburgh Ironmen; however they only played a single season (1946-47) before folding.
  14. ^ The expansion Seattle SuperSonics of the NBA began play in 1967. However, in 2008 the team moved to Oklahoma City and were renamed the Oklahoma City Thunder.
  15. ^ Kansas City had an NBA team from 1972-1985. The team originated in Rochester, New York in 1948 as the Rochester Royals before moving to Cincinnati, Ohio and becoming the Cincinnati Royals in 1957. The team moved and was known as the Kansas City-Omaha Kings from 1972 to 1975 because it played home games in both Kansas City, Missouri and Omaha, Nebraska. In 1975, the team played exclusively in Kansas City, and was known as the Kansas City Kings. The Kings moved to Sacramento, California in 1985.
  16. ^ In 1974, the Kansas City Scouts were granted an NHL expansion franchise. However, the franchise became the Colorado Rockies in 1976 before settling on the east coast as the New Jersey Devils in 1982.
  17. ^ San Diego has had two NBA franchises: the San Diego Rockets and the San Diego Clippers. The Rockets represented San Diego from 1967 until 1971 when they moved to Houston, Texas to become the Houston Rockets. Seven years later, the Buffalo Braves moved to town and were renamed the San Diego Clippers, where they played until 1984, when the team relocated to Los Angeles and became known as the Los Angeles Clippers.
  18. ^ Baltimore was home to two NBA teams, both named the Bullets. The original Bullets played in the American Basketball League and NBA from 1944 to 1955. The second Baltimore Bullets team was founded in 1963, following the relocation of a prior Chicago-based franchise (the Zephyrs) to Maryland. For the next 11 seasons, the Bullets played in Baltimore before moving to Landover, Maryland, within the Washington metropolitan area. in 1973. They played under the "Capital Bullets" and "Washington Bullets" names before becoming the Wizards in 1997.
  19. ^ Baltimore was granted a CFL expansion franchise in 1994, the Baltimore Stallions, which relocated to Montreal after the 1995 season to become the Montreal Alouettes.
  20. ^ The Cincinnati Royals were a NBA team originally founded as the Rochester Royals before moving to Cincinnati in 1957. Upon moving to Kansas City, Missouri, the team was renamed the Kansas City-Omaha Kings. In 1975, the team ceased playing games in Omaha, Nebraska, and became known as the Kansas City Kings. The team is currently known as the Sacramento Kings.
  21. ^ The Green Bay Packers played a portion of their home schedule in Milwaukee on a regular basis from 1933 until 1994.
  22. ^ The Buffalo Braves were a NBA team that moved to San Diego, California in 1978 to become the San Diego Clippers. In 1984, the Clippers franchise moved to Los Angeles, where they became the Los Angeles Clippers.
  23. ^ Montreal was home to a Major League Baseball team, the Montreal Expos, beginning in 1969. However, the team moved to Washington, D.C. in 2005, where it was renamed as the Washington Nationals.[12][13]
  24. ^ The expansion Vancouver Grizzlies of the NBA began play in 1995, but moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 2001 to become the Memphis Grizzlies.
  25. ^ Orlando City SC intends to begin playing in the 2015 MLS season.[14]
  26. ^ The city served as a temporary home for the New Orleans Saints during the 2005 NFL season due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina.
  27. ^ The San Antonio Texans were a CFL team that played in 1995 CFL season before folding. They had relocated from Sacramento, California, where the team had been called the Sacramento Gold Miners.
  28. ^ The Sacramento Gold Miners were a CFL expansion team based in Sacramento, California for two years before relocating and becoming the San Antonio Texans.
  29. ^ The NFL's Houston Oilers relocated to Memphis for one season (as the Tennessee Oilers) in 1997 before moving to Nashville to become the Tennessee Titans.
  30. ^ The Memphis Mad Dogs were a CFL expansion franchise existing for only the 1995 season.
  31. ^ The Hamilton Tigers played in the NHL from 1920 - 1925. They relocated to New York City in 1926 to become the New York Americans.
  32. ^ New York City FC and Orlando City SC will become the 20th and 21st MLS teams in 2015. Atlanta has also been granted an MLS team that will begin play in 2017 in a new stadium shared with the NFL franchise, the Atlanta Falcons. The Miami MLS team was announced in 2014, and the year scheduled to play is pending due to a stadium agreement.[9][14]

Teams by state/province/territory[edit]

The number of Big Four teams based on their home state is shown in the map below:

US States by number of major sports teams


The number of Big Six teams based on their home state/province/territory is shown in the map below:

Big 6 sports teams
State
Province
Territory
Pop. rank (2009)
(US[15] + Canada[16])
Big four
teams
NFL[3] MLB[4] NBA[5] NHL[6] Big six
teams
MLS[7] CFL[8]
United States California 1 15 Raiders
Chargers
49ers
Angels
Dodgers
Athletics
Padres
Giants
Warriors
Clippers
Lakers
Kings
Ducks
Kings
Sharks
18 C.D. Chivas USA
Galaxy
Earthquakes
United States Florida 4 9 Jaguars
Dolphins
Buccaneers
Marlins
Rays
Heat
Magic
Panthers
Lightning
9
United States Texas 2 8 Cowboys
Texans
Astros
Rangers
Mavericks
Rockets
Spurs
Stars 10 Dynamo
FC Dallas
United States New York 3 8 Bills [c] Mets
Yankees
Nets
Knicks
Sabres
Islanders
Rangers
8 [d]
United States Pennsylvania 6 7 Eagles
Steelers
Phillies
Pirates
76ers Flyers
Penguins
8 Union
United States Ohio 7 6 Bengals
Browns
Reds
Indians
Cavaliers Blue Jackets 7 Crew
United States Illinois 5 5 Bears Cubs
White Sox
Bulls Blackhawks 6 Fire
United States Missouri 18 5 Chiefs
Rams
Royals
Cardinals
Blues 5 [h]
United States Massachusetts 14 4 Patriots Red Sox Celtics Bruins 5 Revolution
United States Colorado 22 4 Broncos Rockies Nuggets Avalanche 5 Rapids
United States Arizona 16 4 Cardinals Diamondbacks Suns Coyotes 4
United States Michigan 8 4 Lions Tigers Pistons Red Wings 4
United States Minnesota 21 4 Vikings Twins Timberwolves Wild 4
United States New Jersey 11 3 Giants [c]
Jets
[c]
Devils 4 Red Bulls [d]
United States Washington DC [a] 3 [e] Nationals Wizards Capitals 4 D.C. United
United States Georgia 9 3 Falcons Braves Hawks 3
United States Maryland 19 3 Ravens
Redskins
[e]
Orioles 3
United States North Carolina 10 3 Panthers Bobcats Hurricanes 3
United States Tennessee 17 3 Titans Grizzlies Predators 3
United States Wisconsin 20 3 Packers Brewers Bucks 3
United States Washington 13 2 Seahawks Mariners 3 Sounders
United States Indiana 15 2 Colts Pacers 2
United States Louisiana 25 2 Saints Pelicans 2
United States Oregon 27 1 Trail Blazers 2 Timbers
United States Utah 34 1 Jazz 2 Real Salt Lake
United States Oklahoma 28 1 Thunder 1
United States Kansas 33 0 1 Sporting Kansas City [f]
Canada Ontario 1 4 [b] Blue Jays Raptors Senators
Maple Leafs
8 Toronto FC Tiger-Cats
Redblacks
Argonauts
Canada Alberta 4 2 Flames
Oilers
4 Stampeders
Eskimos
Canada Quebec 2 1 Canadiens 3 Impact Alouettes
Canada British Columbia 3 1 Canucks 3 Whitecaps Lions
Canada Manitoba 5 1 Jets 2 Blue Bombers
Canada Saskatchewan 6 0 1 Roughriders
33 states/provinces/territories 122 32 30 30 30 150 19 9

a Washington DC would have the 50th largest population if it were a state
b Toronto-based Rogers Communications currently has a sharing agreement with the Buffalo Bills to lease the team for one regular season game each year. It is not counted in this tally as a Toronto team per se.
c The New York Giants and Jets both play their home games at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey
d The New York Red Bulls play their home games in Red Bull Arena in New Jersey
e The Washington Redskins play their home games at FedEx Field in Maryland
f Sporting KC play their home games at Sporting Park in Kansas

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Everson, Darren (2009-05-07). "The Four Sports Commissioners Weigh In". The Wall Street Journal. p. D9. Retrieved 2011-03-29. 
  2. ^ "Demographia World Urban Areas - 10th Annual Edition". Demographia. May 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  3. ^ a b "NFL teams". National Football League. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Team-by-Team Information". Major League Baseball. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Team Index". National Basketball Association. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "NHL teams". National Hockey League. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Clubs". Major League Soccer. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "CFL.ca – Official site of the Canadian Football League". Canadian Football League. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "Club Statement 21 May, 2013" – Manchester City FC Press release
  10. ^ "Atlanta Lands MLS Expansion Team for 2017". ABC News. 
  11. ^ "Miami, Tampa fight to keep MLS teams" - Sports Illustrated Dec. 2001
  12. ^ Associated Press (December 15, 2004). "Ballpark financing issue may kill deal". ESPN.com. 
  13. ^ Associated Press (September 28, 2004). "Announcement will come Wednesday". ESPN.com. 
  14. ^ a b "Major League Soccer names Orlando City SC as 21st franchise, set for 2015 debut". Major League Soccer. 
  15. ^ State Population – Rank, Percent Change, and Population Density: 1980 to 2009 (Report). US Census Bureau. 2011. http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2011/tables/11s0013.pdf. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
  16. ^ "Population estimates, age distribution and median age as of July 1, 2010, Canada, provinces and territories". Statistics Canada. September 29, 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 

External links[edit]