U.S. cities with teams from four major league sports

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There are 13 U.S. cities with teams from four major sports, where "city" is defined as the entire metropolitan area, and "major professional sports leagues" as:

The New York and the Los Angeles metropolitan areas, the two largest cities in the country, are the only two regions with at least two teams in each major sports league, with the New York metropolitan area being home to three NHL clubs.

Overview by city[edit]

Italicized teams play outside the city limits of the metropolitan area's core city or cities; the specific location is given in parentheses. The core city or cities of a metropolitan area are identified in this reference.[1]

Metropolitan Area Media market ranking[1] Hosted 4 leagues since NFL Team(s) MLB Team(s) NBA Team(s) NHL Team(s)
Boston, Massachusetts 10 1960 New England Patriots (Foxborough, Massachusetts) Boston Red Sox Boston Celtics Boston Bruins
Chicago, Illinois 3 1966 Chicago Bears Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Chicago Bulls Chicago Blackhawks
Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas 5 1993 Dallas Cowboys (Arlington, Texas) Texas Rangers (Arlington, Texas)[a] Dallas Mavericks Dallas Stars
Denver, Colorado 17 1995 Denver Broncos Colorado Rockies Denver Nuggets Colorado Avalanche
Detroit, Michigan 14 1957 Detroit Lions Detroit Tigers Detroit Pistons Detroit Red Wings
Los Angeles, California 2 2016 Los Angeles Chargers (Carson, California)[b]
Los Angeles Rams[b]
Los Angeles Angels (Anaheim, California)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
Anaheim Ducks (Anaheim, California)
Los Angeles Kings
Miami, Florida 16 1993 Miami Dolphins (Miami Gardens, Florida) Miami Marlins Miami Heat Florida Panthers (Sunrise, Florida)
Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minnesota 15 2000 Minnesota Vikings (Minneapolis, Minnesota) Minnesota Twins (Minneapolis, Minnesota) Minnesota Timberwolves (Minneapolis, Minnesota) Minnesota Wild
(Saint Paul, Minnesota)
New York City, New York 1 1946 New York Giants (East Rutherford, New Jersey)
New York Jets (East Rutherford, New Jersey)
New York Mets
New York Yankees
Brooklyn Nets
New York Knicks
New Jersey Devils (Newark, New Jersey)
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 4 1967 Philadelphia Eagles Philadelphia Phillies Philadelphia 76ers Philadelphia Flyers
Phoenix, Arizona 11 1998 Arizona Cardinals (Glendale, Arizona) Arizona Diamondbacks Phoenix Suns Arizona Coyotes (Glendale, Arizona)
San Francisco Bay Area, California 8 1991 Oakland Raiders (Oakland, California)
San Francisco 49ers (Santa Clara, California)
Oakland Athletics (Oakland, California)
San Francisco Giants (San Francisco, California)
Golden State Warriors (Oakland, California)[c] San Jose Sharks (San Jose, California)
Washington, D.C. 6 2005 Washington Redskins (Landover, Maryland) Washington Nationals Washington Wizards Washington Capitals
  1. ^ The Rangers are planning to open a new park in 2020, but will remain in the city of Arlington.
  2. ^ a b The Chargers and Rams will move to their new stadium in Inglewood in 2020.
  3. ^ The Warriors will move to a new arena in San Francisco in 2019.

Analysis[edit]

Principal city versus metropolitan areas[edit]

Of these metropolitan areas, the only ones with a team in each sport that plays within the limits of its principal city are Chicago, Denver, and Philadelphia. In 2017, Detroit became the fourth such city when the Pistons began play out of Little Caesars Arena. In the Twin Cities area, three of the teams play in Minneapolis and one plays in St. Paul, although all four teams are named after the state of Minnesota, not the individual cities. In the San Francisco Bay Area, the core cities of Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose together have at least one NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL team, so even though not all teams are within the core cities, all four sports are represented in the core cities. All other areas have at least one sport represented solely by a team (or teams) that plays in a city's suburbs.

Smallest population with all four[edit]

The least-populous metropolitan area with at least one team in each of the four major sports is Denver, whose estimated population is 2,552,195. However, Denver is the hub of an urban corridor of approximately 4.5 million people, and is the largest metropolitan area for about 600 miles (970 km).[2] Minnesota is the least populous state to have a team in each major sport.

Largest population without a team[edit]

The largest market area with no teams in the four major leagues is the Hartford & New Haven (Connecticut) area.[1] Hartford was formerly home to the NHL's Whalers, who moved to Raleigh in 1997 and are now the Carolina Hurricanes.

The largest market area that has never had a team in the four major leagues is the West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce (Florida) area,[1] though that is usually considered part of the territory of Miami area teams.

Using the Primary Statistical Areas defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, the most-populous metropolitan area (as of the 2010 U.S. Census) without a team in any of the four major leagues is the Las Vegas Valley area, although several professional teams do play there.[3] On June 22, 2016, the NHL announced that a new expansion team, later unveiled as the Vegas Golden Knights, would begin playing in Las Vegas in the 2017–18 hockey season.[4] With that, the Hartford, CT - Springfield, MA metropolitan region, currently ranked second, and the Hampton Roads metro area, ranked third, will become the first and second largest metro areas without a major sports team.[5]

According to a 2016 article on ThePostGame, after Las Vegas, the ten metro areas with the largest populations that do not have any major league sports teams are Albuquerque, Omaha, Honolulu, Providence, Birmingham, Hartford, Louisville, Virginia Beach, Austin, and Riverside–San Bernadino[6]

Largest population without all four leagues represented[edit]

After the St. Louis Rams moved back to Los Angeles, Houston, which lacks an NHL team, became the largest metropolitan area that does not have a franchise in all four major professional sports. Los Angeles had been the largest area without all four leagues from 1995 to 2016.

Cities with two teams from one of the four leagues[edit]

The sport that most commonly has two teams in one metropolitan area is baseball, with multiple teams in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, Boston, St. Louis and Philadelphia also had two baseball franchises (New York had three during this time), but one team from each city moved in the 1950s. Only Chicago has had the same two baseball teams since the American League was established in 1901. In 2006, Philadelphia was the largest television market without two baseball teams, with Dallas being the next-largest.[1]

New York and Los Angeles are the only two metropolitan areas with two or more teams in all four major sports (New York has MLB's Yankees and Mets, the NBA's Knicks and Nets, the NFL's Giants and Jets, and the NHL's Rangers, Islanders, and Devils. While Los Angeles has MLB's Dodgers and Angels, the NBA's Lakers and Clippers, the NFL's Rams and the Chargers, the NHL's Kings and the Ducks. The San Francisco Bay Area has two teams in two sports, the NFL's 49ers and Raiders and MLB's San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics.

Two teams in each of the four leagues[edit]

The only areas with at least two franchises in all four sports are New York and Los Angeles, which are the largest and second largest largest cities and the largest metropolitan areas in the United States. In New York, three of the metro area's nine major sports franchises play outside the city limits and by extension, outside the state of New York: the NFL's Jets and Giants, and the NHL's Devils all play in New Jersey. However, all teams retain "New York" in their name except the New Jersey Devils and Brooklyn Nets. In Los Angeles, three of the areas eight teams play in other cities (the Ducks and Angels play in Anaheim, while the Chargers play in Carson) but will increase to four in 2020 when the Chargers and Rams move to Inglewood upon completion of their new stadium.

New York is also the only city to host at least one team in each sport throughout the entire period that MLB, the NHL, the NFL and the NBA have coexisted (1946 to the present).

Most recent city with a team from each league[edit]

The most recent city to be added to this list is Los Angeles, which regained the football Rams in 2016 after they had played the prior 21 seasons in St. Louis. (In 2017, the Chargers also moved to the city from San Diego, becoming the Los Angeles Chargers.)

States with all four leagues represented, but not in one metro area[edit]

Among those states that have no metropolitan areas with all four sports, only Ohio has teams in all four major sports: the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns; MLB's Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians; the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers; and the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets, the only team outside Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Additionally, while the metropolitan area of New York City has both of its football teams play in New Jersey, the state of New York still has all four major sports leagues represented with the NFL's Buffalo Bills.

Most populous state without all four sports leagues[edit]

After the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg and became the Jets in 2011, Georgia became the most populous state without teams in all four sports. Metro Atlanta became the third-largest metro area (at the time) not to have teams in all four sports (after Los Angeles and Houston). With the return of the Los Angeles Rams in 2016, Atlanta became the second largest metro area without all four leagues behind Houston. Georgia is now home to the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, MLB's Atlanta Braves, and the NBA's Atlanta Hawks. The Falcons and Hawks currently play within the city limits of Atlanta; the Braves moved just outside the city in 2017 to the Vinings/Smyrna area in Cobb County. The Braves' new stadium is within a small slice of Cobb County that has always had an Atlanta mailing address.

Previously, North Carolina had been the most populous state without teams in all four sports, having edged out New Jersey when the southern state's population surpassed the northern one's.[7] Both lack a Major League Baseball team, though three teams (the New York Yankees, New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies) play in metropolitan areas that include parts of New Jersey. North Carolina is home to the NFL's Carolina Panthers and NBA's Charlotte Hornets, who both play in Charlotte, as well as the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes, who play in Raleigh. New Jersey is home to the NFL's New York Giants and New York Jets, who play in the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, as well as the NHL's New Jersey Devils, who play in Newark.

Most populous state with no major league teams[edit]

Virginia remains the most populous state without a single big-league team in any sport, although Northern Virginia residents, whose communities form much of the Washington, D.C. suburbs, have access to teams in Washington, D.C., and, at a stretch, Baltimore; and southern Virginia residents have access to the Carolina Hurricanes, the only major-league team in the Raleigh-Durham area. Additionally, two of the four D.C.-area teams, the Washington Capitals and Washington Redskins, have their operational headquarters and training facilities in Northern Virginia.

Iowa is the most populous state that has neither a major-league team nor a connection to a media market area with a major-league team.

Canadian cities[edit]

Three of the four major leagues (MLB, the NBA and the NHL), have at least one team in Canada. Thus, although it is not a U.S. city, Toronto is notable because it has MLB (Blue Jays), NBA (Raptors), NHL (Maple Leafs) and MLS (Toronto FC) teams, plus a professional Canadian football team, the Toronto Argonauts. The Argonauts play in the Canadian Football League, which is currently an all-Canadian circuit, although the CFL had teams in the United States from 1993 until 1995. Calling the CFL a major league would be problematic since its lack of a U.S.-based team leaves it with a much smaller revenue base than the NFL. There has often been speculation of an NFL team in Toronto, which is larger than many NFL cities and the second-largest city in North America (behind Mexico City) without an NFL team, but the NFL insists it has no plans for expansion. The NFL allowed the Buffalo Bills to play one regular-season game a year at Toronto's Rogers Centre for several years in the early 21st century, as the Bills' profits depend on a considerable Southern Ontario fan base.[8] The first two games in the Toronto series did not directly conflict with the CFL, as they were scheduled for December, after the end of the CFL season. The series was put on hiatus after the 2013 season; current Bills owner Terry Pegula, who bought the team after the 2014 death of founding owner Ralph Wilson, formally ended the Toronto experiment.

There are a further two Canadian cities which formerly had two major league teams plus a CFL franchise.

Montreal, the second-most populous Canadian city, had the Montreal Expos MLB team, which moved to Washington, D.C. It still hosts the NHL's Canadiens and the CFL's Alouettes. Montreal also once had an NFL farm team, the WLAF Montreal Machine, before the WLAF became exclusively European. Additionally, Montreal is home to Canada's third MLS team, the Montreal Impact since 2012.

Vancouver, the third-most populous Canadian metropolitan area, had the Vancouver Grizzlies NBA team, which moved to Memphis. It still hosts the NHL's Vancouver Canucks, CFL's BC Lions and MLS's Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Cities formerly with teams in all four leagues[edit]

Cleveland, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Atlanta formerly hosted teams in all four major sports leagues.

Cities that have lost, then regained four-sport status are Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis–St. Paul, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Atlanta is the only city to have gained, lost, regained, and re-lost four-sport status.

  • Boston had the Yanks of the NFL at the start of the four-major-sport era in 1946, along with the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and Braves. Four-sport status ended when the Yanks became the New York Bulldogs in 1949, and then resumed with the formation of the New England Patriots in 1960.
  • Detroit had a charter franchise of the NBA when it was called the Basketball Association of America at the start of the four-major-sport era in 1946. It folded after one season; Detroit rejoined the four-sport club when the Fort Wayne Pistons moved to Detroit in 1957.
  • Chicago had a BAA/NBA team fold in 1950, then attracted an expansion franchise in 1961 only to see it move to Baltimore two years later. Chicago rejoined the four-sport club in 1966 with the expansion Bulls.
  • The San Francisco Bay Area had teams in all four sports from the NHL expansion in 1967 until the Seals departed for Cleveland in 1976. It regained four-sport status when the expansion San Jose Sharks joined the NHL in 1991. Oakland alone had a grand slam without help from San Francisco from 1971 (when the Golden State Warriors moved to Oakland) to 1976.
  • Minneapolis–St. Paul became a member with the arrival of the Minnesota Timberwolves as an expansion NBA franchise in 1989, only to see the NHL's North Stars depart for Dallas in 1993. The Twin Cities regained their status with the NHL's expansion Minnesota Wild in 2000.
  • Greater Los Angeles became a four-sport city in 1967 and remained so for 28 years. In fact, for two years (1993–1995) it joined New York as the only cities with two teams in each of the four major sports (MLB's Dodgers and Angels, NFL's Rams and Raiders, NBA's Lakers and Clippers, and NHL's Kings and Ducks). However, Los Angeles lost both of its NFL teams in 1995. The Rams moved back to Los Angeles in 2016, restoring the city to four-sport status, in addition, the city also has regained its status as one of the two cities to have two teams from each league with the former San Diego Chargers moving there to become the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles FC joining MLS in 2018.

If the American Basketball Association (1967–1976) is considered to have been a major professional sports league, additional cities formerly made the list. In addition to the MLB Pirates, the NFL Steelers and the NHL Penguins; Pittsburgh also hosted the ABA's Pittsburgh Condors, originally called the Pipers, in 1967 and from 1969 until the team's demise in 1972. Similarly, if the ABA is counted, St. Louis would have regained four-sport status between 1974 and 1976, when the city was home to the Spirits of St. Louis. Also, Minneapolis–St. Paul was a four-sport city from 1967 to 1969, having hosted the ABA's Minnesota Muskies in 1967–68 and the Minnesota Pipers in 1968–69.

If the World Hockey Association (1972–1979) were considered to have been a major league, Houston would have made the list; the Houston Aeros operated from 1972 to 1978, but were ultimately left out of the NHL-WHA merger negotiations and folded before the merger. Under the same assumption, Cleveland would have joined the four-sports club in 1972 with the arrival of the WHA Cleveland Crusaders, which were displaced in 1976 by the NHL's Barons.

If the ABA and WHA are both considered to have been major leagues, then San Diego would have made the list from fall 1974 through fall 1975. Alongside the MLB Padres (since 1969) and the AFL/NFL Chargers (1961 to 2016), there were the ABA Conquistadors/Sails (1972–1975) and the WHA Mariners (1974–1977).

Major League Soccer[edit]

Major League Soccer in the United States was founded in 1993, and has been active since 1996. Of the 13 metro areas with Big Four teams, 10 also host MLS franchises as well. Detroit, Miami, and Phoenix currently do not have Major League Soccer teams, though an expansion team for Miami is planned.

MLS teams that play outside city limits are indicated in italics, followed by their locations of play.

Metropolitan Area Media market ranking Since NFL Team(s) MLB Team(s) NBA Team(s) NHL Team(s) MLS Team(s)
Boston, Massachusetts 10 1996 New England Patriots (Foxborough, Massachusetts) Boston Red Sox Boston Celtics Boston Bruins New England Revolution (Foxborough, Massachusetts)
Chicago, Illinois 3 1998 Chicago Bears Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Chicago Bulls Chicago Blackhawks Chicago Fire
(Bridgeview, Illinois)
Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, Texas 5 1996 Dallas Cowboys (Arlington, Texas) Texas Rangers (Arlington, Texas) Dallas Mavericks Dallas Stars FC Dallas
(Frisco, Texas)
Denver, Colorado 17 1996 Denver Broncos Colorado Rockies Denver Nuggets Colorado Avalanche Colorado Rapids (Commerce City, Colorado)
Los Angeles, California 2 2016 Los Angeles Chargers (Carson, California)
Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Angels (Anaheim, California)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
Anaheim Ducks (Anaheim, California)
Los Angeles Kings
Los Angeles Galaxy (Carson, California)
Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minnesota 15 2017 Minnesota Vikings (Minneapolis, Minnesota) Minnesota Twins (Minneapolis, Minnesota) Minnesota Timberwolves (Minneapolis, Minnesota) Minnesota Wild
(Saint Paul, Minnesota)
Minnesota United FC (Minneapolis, Minnesota)[a]
New York City, New York 1 1996 New York Giants (East Rutherford, New Jersey)
New York Jets (East Rutherford, New Jersey)
New York Mets
New York Yankees
Brooklyn Nets
New York Knicks
New Jersey Devils (Newark, New Jersey)
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
New York City FC
New York Red Bulls (Harrison, New Jersey)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 4 2010 Philadelphia Eagles Philadelphia Phillies Philadelphia 76ers Philadelphia Flyers Philadelphia Union (Chester, Pennsylvania)
San Francisco Bay Area, California 8 2008 Oakland Raiders (Oakland, California)
San Francisco 49ers (Santa Clara, California)
Oakland Athletics (Oakland, California)
San Francisco Giants (San Francisco, California)
Golden State Warriors (Oakland, California) San Jose Sharks (San Jose, California) San Jose Earthquakes (San Jose, California)
Washington, D.C. 6 2005 Washington Redskins (Landover, Maryland) Washington Nationals Washington Wizards Washington Capitals D.C. United[b]
  1. ^ Minnesota United will move to its permanent home of Allianz Field in Saint Paul in 2019.
  2. ^ D.C. United will move to the new Audi Field in 2018; like the team's current home of RFK Stadium, Audi Field lies within Washington, D.C. proper.

One other metropolitan area with teams in the four larger leagues also previously held five-sport status, Miami (Miami Fusion). Miami will resume being a five-sport city with an approved MLS expansion team.

The San Francisco Bay Area lost five-sport status after the Earthquakes moved to Houston to become the Dynamo in 2006 but regained it with the reactivated Earthquakes in 2008.

Of cities that formerly held four-sport status, only Atlanta and Kansas City have current MLS franchises.

No Ohio city can claim five-sport (or four-sport) status, but the state itself can via Cleveland and Columbus (as well as Cincinnati) sports teams with Columbus Crew SC.

The debut of MLS's Toronto FC in 2007 gives Toronto five professional sports teams, although its football team plays in the Canadian Football League.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Nielsen DMA Rankings
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Population and Housing Occupancy Status: 2010 - United States -- Combined Statistical Area; and for Puerto Rico". United States Census Bureau. 2010. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ Belson, Ken (June 22, 2016). "With N.H.L. Expansion, Las Vegas Hits the Jackpot: A Pro Team", The New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". Factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  6. ^ "10 Largest U.S. Markets Without a Major Pro Sports Team", ThePostGame, June 15, 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-02-01. 
  8. ^ "Commissioner announces Toronto plan for Bills". National Football League. Associated Press. 2008-02-01. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 

External links[edit]