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

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Red: NHL, yellow: NFL, blue: NBA, green: MLB

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.

The definition of a "major" professional league is a subject of intense debate. The most commonly accepted definition, often termed the "Big Four", includes Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League. This list includes teams from those four leagues. On a rung below these stands Major League Soccer, occasionally considered part of the United States' major sports leagues.

Some strictly-American definitions of a major league exclude the NHL, which, although it holds a dominant role in Canadian society, has struggled to gain wide support in American markets outside hockey's regional strongholds of the Northeast and Upper Midwest; this list, though, includes NHL teams, as the league's revenues, player salaries and media coverage are still significantly closer to those of the NBA than those of any of the other U.S. and Canadian team sports' top-level professional leagues.

Some strictly-Canadian definitions include the Canadian Football League. The CFL's support and media coverage compare to that of the "Big Four" within Canada, and since 1997, the CFL and NFL have shared a cooperative agreement that recognizes the CFL's role within its home country. Of CFL cities, only Toronto hosts more than one other major league club; five others host NHL teams.

The CFL and MLS are indisputably the fifth and sixth most popular leagues on the continent (in which order is debatable). Therefore, this list includes a ranking by teams in the Big Four, and a separate ranking also including teams in the CFL and MLS (the Big Six).

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, 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 North America. This is largely due to how having a team in 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 147th largest metropolitan area.

Metropolitan area Pop. rank
(US + Canada)
Big four
teams
NFL MLB NBA NHL Big six
teams
MLS CFL
United States New York City 1 9 2 (NYG/NYJ) 2 (NYY/NYM) 2 (NYK/NJ) 3 (NYR/NYI/NJ) 10 1 (NY) 0
United States Los Angeles 2 6 0 2 (LAD/LAA) 2 (LAL/LAC) 2 (LAK/ANA) 8 2 (LAG/CHV) 0
United States Baltimore / Washington 4 6 2 (WAS/BAL) 2 (WAS/BAL) 1 (WAS) 1 (WAS) 7 1 (DCU) 0
United States San Francisco Bay Area 6 6 2 (SF/OAK) 2 (SF/OAK) 1 (GSW) 1 (SJ) 7 1 (SJ) 0
United States Chicago 3 5 1 (CHI) 2 (CHC/CWS) 1 (CHI) 1 (CHI) 6 1 (CHI) 0
United States Boston 5 4 1 (NE) 1 (BOS) 1 (BOS) 1 (BOS) 5 1 (NE) 0
United States Dallas 7 4 1 (DAL) 1 (TEX) 1 (DAL) 1 (DAL) 5 1 (FCD) 0
United States Philadelphia 8 4 1 (PHI) 1 (PHI) 1 (PHI) 1 (PHI) 5 1 (PHI) 0
United States Atlanta 10 4 1 (ATL) 1 (ATL) 1 (ATL) 1 (ATL) 4 0 0
United States Miami 11 4 1 (MIA) 1 (FLA) 1 (MIA) 1 (FLA) 4 0 0
United States Detroit 12 4 1 (DET) 1 (DET) 1 (DET) 1 (DET) 4 0 0
United States Phoenix 14 4 1 (ARI) 1 (ARI) 1 (PHX) 1 (PHX) 4 0 0
United States Minneapolis-St. Paul 17 4 1 (MIN) 1 (MIN) 1 (MIN) 1 (MIN) 4 0 0
United States Denver 18 4 1 (DEN) 1 (COL) 1 (DEN) 1 (COL) 5 1 (COL) 0
United States Houston 9 3 1 (HOU) 1 (HOU) 1 (HOU) 0 4 1 (HOU) 0
Canada Toronto 13 3 0 • 1 (TOR) 1 (TOR) 1 (TOR) 5 1 (TOR) 1 (TOR)
United States Cleveland 20 3 1 (CLE) 1 (CLE) 1 (CLE) 0 3 0 0
United States St. Louis 21 3 1 (STL) 1 (STL) 0 1 (STL) 3 0 0
United States Tampa Bay 22 3 1 (TB) 1 (TB) 0 1 (TB) 3 0 0
United States Pittsburgh 24 3 1 (PIT) 1 (PIT) 0 1 (PIT) 3 0 0
United States San Diego 19 2 1 (SD) 1 (SD) 0 0 2 0 0
United States Seattle 15 2 1 (SEA) 1 (SEA) 0 0 3 1 (SEA) 0
United States Charlotte 26 2 1 (CAR) 0 1 (CHA) 0 2 0 0
United States Cincinnati 27 2 1 (CIN) 1 (CIN) 0 0 2 0 0
United States Kansas City 30 2 1 (KC) 1 (KC) 0 0 3 1 (KC) 0
United States Indianapolis 31 2 1 (IND) 0 1 (IND) 0 2 0 0
United States Milwaukee 35 2 0 1 (MIL) 1 (MIL) 0 2 0 0
United States Nashville 39 2 1 (TEN) 0 0 1 (NSH) 2 0 0
United States Buffalo 50 2 1 (BUF) 0 0 1 (BUF) 2 0 0
United States New Orleans 56 2 1 (NO) 0 1 (NO) 0 2 0 0
Canada Montreal 16 1 0 0 0 1 (MTL) 2 0 1 (MTL)
United States Orlando 23 1 0 0 1 (ORL) 0 1 0 0
United States Sacramento 25 1 0 0 1 (SAC) 0 1 0 0
United States Portland 28 1 0 0 1 (POR) 0 2 1 (POR) 0
Canada Vancouver 29 1 0 0 0 1 (VAN) 3 1 (VAN) 1 (BC)
United States San Antonio 32 1 0 0 1 (SA) 0 1 0 0
United States Columbus 33 1 0 0 0 1 (CBJ) 2 1 (CLB) 0
United States Salt Lake City 36 1 0 0 1 (UT) 0 2 1 (RSL) 0
United States Raleigh 38 1 0 0 0 1 (CAR) 1 0 0
United States Jacksonville 44 1 1 (JAX) 0 0 0 1 0 0
United States Oklahoma City 45 1 0 0 1 (OKC) 0 1 0
United States Memphis 46 1 0 0 1 (MEM) 0 1 0 0
Canada Ottawa 53 1 0 0 0 1 (OTT) 2 0 1 (OTT)
Canada Calgary 55 1 0 0 0 1 (CGY) 2 0 1 (CGY)
Canada Edmonton 59 1 0 0 0 1 (EDM) 2 0 1 (EDM)
Canada Winnipeg 77 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 (WPG)
Canada Hamilton 78 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 (HAM)
United States Green Bay 147 1 1 (GB) 0 0 0 1 0 0
Canada Regina 205 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 (SSK)
49 metro areas 122 32 30 30 30 146 16 8

 • 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.

See also

External links

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