Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Three Major League teams New York City Market

Here's a short post with more to follow:

I'm one full nostalgia, but I'm also a serious student of baseball and numbers.

Depending on what definition you use, Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) or Combined Statistical Areas, the NYC metro area has around 18 million or 22 million people.

Chicago under the most generous estimate has less than 10 million folks in its metropolitan area*.

Los Angeles has a little less than 13 million to around 17.6 million people depending on the definition.

Washington/Baltimore has just over 8 million with the most generous definition.

You might ask what all four of these places have in common? Well the answer should be obvious. All four have two Major League Baseball teams in their areas.

Personally, I think it is quite odd that a market three times the size of the Washington/Baltimore market has the same number of teams...

More numbers to crunch on, the Yankees and Mets are one and two in attendance. The Dodgers and Angels are three and six. Cubs and White Sox are seven and eighteen. The Nationals and Orioles are fifteen and twenty two.

These numbers have been pretty consistent over the past three years with dips for the latter two and movement by a spot of two Mets, Angels, and Dodgers.

The Mets movement up on attendance lists in the past five years can be correlated to their signing of Pedro Martinez (connecting with the Hispanic market) and the willingness to spend money.

The Yankees have always been near the top.... as have the Dodgers. The Angels have been at the top since their 2002 World Series run.

What does this mean?

Well, simple as it may seem, put a good ball club on the field with recognizable stars in a market with people that will spend money, and you will have good attendance.

But let us take a step back a minute...

Let's look at the pure business side of things.

According to Forbes (who know business pretty well), the Yankees and Mets are both ranked as worth more than all the Major League franchises (even Boston, though they come close in a close second). And no this isn't one year fling... the Yankees have been worth the most since '02 and the Mets two or three since '02.

And this year, the Dodgers and Angels are both ranked in the top six.

In 2006, the good folks at bizjournals did a nice little study on expansion (not surprisingly the LA market ranked one because of a lack of a football team). What did they find? Oh simple... the number one market for baseball expansion was Northern New Jersey. The only other market... you guessed it Southern Cal.

What does this all mean? And what about Portland.... and Charlotte (it's Nate Silvers favorite place for expansion) later.


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