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U.S. cities with teams from four major sports: Wikis


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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:

New York City, the largest metropolis in the country, is the only one with at least two teams in each major sports league.


Overview by city

Italicized teams play outside the city limits of the metropolitan area's core city or cities; the specific location is given in parentheses.

Metropolitan Area Population
4 teams since
NFL Team(s) MLB Team(s) NBA Team(s) NHL Team(s)
Atlanta, Georgia 10 1999 Falcons Braves Hawks Thrashers
Boston, Massachusetts 8 1959 Patriots (Foxborough, MA) Red Sox Celtics Bruins
Chicago, Illinois 3 1966 Bears Cubs
White Sox
Bulls Blackhawks
Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas 6 1993 Cowboys (Arlington, TX) Rangers (Arlington, TX) Mavericks Stars
Denver, Colorado 19 1995 Broncos Rockies Nuggets Avalanche
Detroit, Michigan 11 1957 Lions Tigers Pistons (Auburn Hills, MI) Red Wings
Miami, Florida 12 1993 Dolphins (Miami Gardens, FL) Marlins (Miami Gardens, FL) Heat Panthers (Sunrise, FL)
Minneapolis–St. Paul, Minnesota 15 2000 Vikings (Minneapolis) Twins (Minneapolis) Timberwolves (Minneapolis) Wild (St. Paul)
New York City, New York 1 1946 Giants (East Rutherford, NJ)
Jets (East Rutherford, NJ)
Nets (East Rutherford, NJ)
Islanders (Uniondale, NY)
Devils (Newark, NJ)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 7 1967 Eagles Phillies 76ers Flyers
Phoenix, Arizona 13 1998 Cardinals (Glendale, AZ) Diamondbacks Suns Coyotes (Glendale, AZ)
San Francisco Bay Area, California 5 1991 49ers (San Francisco)
Raiders (Oakland)
Giants (San Francisco)
Athletics (Oakland)
Warriors (Oakland) Sharks (San Jose)
Washington, DC 4 2005 Redskins (Landover, MD) Nationals Wizards Capitals



Principal city versus metropolitan areas

Of these metropolitan areas, the only ones with a team in each sport that plays within the limits of its principal city are Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, and Philadelphia. 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, all teams play in one of the region's three major cities (San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose). All other areas, such as Dallas, Detroit and Washington, D.C., have at least one sport represented solely by a team that plays in a city's suburbs.

Smallest population with all four

The least-populous metropolitan area with at least one team in each of the four major sports is Denver, the nation's 19th-largest in population, with 2,357,404 people as of July 2007.[citation needed] Additionally, Colorado is the least populous state to have a team in each major sport. But Denver's status as the hub of a vast area of the Rocky Mountain region gives the city influence far beyond its metropolitan population.

Largest population without a team

The most-populous metropolitan area (as of the 2000 U.S. Census) without a team in any of the four major sports is the Hampton Roads metro area centered around Norfolk, Virginia, the nation's 30th largest.[1] However, census estimates indicate that in 2006, the fast-growing Las Vegas, Nevada, metropolitan area surpassed Hampton Roads in population to gain this distinction.[2] But Las Vegas, the U.S.'s sports gambling capital, is unlikely to get a franchise because American professional sports interests refuse to have any open connection to the gambling industry.

The most-populous U.S. city with no teams in any of the four major sports is Austin, Texas, 16th in the nation by population. Austin's metropolitan area, however, is only the third-largest without a team.[3]

Largest population without all four

The most populous metropolitan area that lacks a team in one of the four major sports is the Greater Los Angeles Area, whose 17,755,322 people makes it the country's second-largest.[4] This area has two baseball teams (the Dodgers and Angels), two basketball teams (the Lakers and Clippers), two hockey teams (the Kings and Ducks), but has not had an NFL franchise since 1995, when both of its franchises moved (the Raiders to Oakland and the Rams to St. Louis). (Los Angeles is also the only metro area to have major-league baseball, basketball, and hockey teams, but no football.) Like New York, the Greater Los Angeles Area had two teams in each sport after the NHL awarded the expansion Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (now the Anaheim Ducks) and before the departure of the football teams. In 1999, the NFL wanted to grant its 32nd franchise to Los Angeles, but no workable ownership and stadium plan materialized, while Houston (which had lost its NFL franchise in a controversial move as well) presented such a plan and was awarded the Houston Texans franchise. Houston, which lacks a NHL team, is the second-largest metropolitan area to not have a franchise in all four major professional sports.

Two of one of the four sports

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, but one team from each city moved in the 1950s. In 2006, Philadelphia was the largest television market without two baseball teams, with Dallas being the next-largest.[5]

Two of each of the four sports

The only area with at least two franchises in all four sports is New York, which is both the largest city and the largest metropolitan area in the United States. Five of the metro area's nine major-sports franchises play outside the city limits: the NFL's Jets and Giants, the NBA's Nets, and the NHL's Devils all play in New Jersey; the NHL's Islanders play on Long Island. However, all teams retain "New York" in their name except the Devils and Nets. (The Nets are expected to change their name to Brooklyn in the next few years as they plan to relocate to that borough).

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 with four sports

The most recent city to be added to this list is Washington, D.C., which, from the start of the 2005 baseball season, hosts the Nationals, formerly the Montreal Expos. Washington had not had an MLB team since 1972, when the Senators moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area as the Texas Rangers. However, it could be argued that the Baltimore Orioles previously served as Washington's baseball team, since the cities of Baltimore and Washington are 32 miles apart. In fact, the Orioles' dependence on the Washington market was great enough that Orioles owner Peter Angelos received concessions from MLB in exchange for his permitting a new team in Washington.

States with all four but not in one metro area

Among those states that have no metropolitan areas with a "Grand Slam", 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 one located outside Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Most populous state without all four

North Carolina, which has three big-league teams, is the most populous state without teams from all four leagues, recently passing New Jersey in population[6], which has four; both lack a Major League Baseball team, though three teams (the New York Yankees, the 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 Bobcats, 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 and the NBA's New Jersey Nets (though the team is planning a move to Brooklyn), who all 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 without a single major league team

Virginia remains the most populous state without a single big-league team in any sport, although Northern Virginia residents 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.

Canadian cities

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 F.C.) teams, plus a professional 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 fourth-largest city in North America without an NFL team, but the NFL insists it has no plans for expansion. The NFL currently allows the Buffalo Bills to play one regular-season game a year at Toronto's Rogers Centre, as the Bills' profits depend on a considerable Southern Ontario fan base.[7] 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; however, future games may be scheduled during the CFL season as Argonauts-Bills doubleheaders.

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 CFL's Alouettes and the NHL's Canadiens. Montreal also once had an NFL farm team, the WLAF Montreal Machine, before the league became exclusively European. Additionally, Montreal once had a Division 1 soccer franchise.

Vancouver, the third-most populous Canadian metropolitan area, had the Vancouver Grizzlies NBA team, which moved to Memphis. It still hosts the CFL's B.C. Lions and the NHL's Vancouver Canucks. Additionally, Vancouver once had a Division 1 soccer franchise, and will be home to Canada's second MLS team in 2011.

Cities formerly with teams in all four leagues

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

Additionally, Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and the San Francisco Bay Area have had periods where they lost four-sport status, only to regain it later.

  • 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 only one season; Detroit rejoined the four-sport club permanently when the Fort Wayne Pistons relocated to Detroit in 1957.
  • Chicago had one 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 for good 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 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, putting that city in the club instead. The Twin Cities regained their status with the NHL's expansion Minnesota Wild in 2000.
  • Atlanta featured teams all four sports from 1972 to 1980, only to see its NHL team move to Calgary, Alberta. The NHL returned to Atlanta in 1999 with the expansion Thrashers.

If the American Basketball Association (1967–1976) is considered to have been a major professional sports league, an additional city 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, from 1967 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, as the city was home to the Spirits of St. Louis.

If the World Hockey Association (1972–1979) is 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.

Soccer (MLS)

Major League Soccer is the fifth-largest professional team sport league in the United States by revenue and attendance. Of the 13 metro areas with teams in the four larger leagues, seven host MLS franchises as well and an eighth will join that category once the Philadelphia Union start play in 2010.

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

Metropolitan Area Population
Since MLB Team(s) NFL Team(s) NBA Team(s) NHL Team(s) MLS Team(s)
Boston, Massachusetts 8 1996 Red Sox Patriots (Foxborough, MA) Celtics Bruins Revolution (Foxborough, MA)
Chicago, Illinois 3 1998 Cubs
White Sox
Bears Bulls Blackhawks Fire (Bridgeview, IL)
Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, Texas 6 1996 Rangers (Arlington, TX) Cowboys (Arlington, TX) Mavericks Stars FC Dallas (Frisco, TX)
Denver, Colorado 19 1996 Rockies Broncos Nuggets Avalanche Rapids (Commerce City, CO)
New York, New York 1 1996 Yankees
Giants (East Rutherford, NJ)
Jets (East Rutherford, NJ)
Nets (East Rutherford, NJ)
Islanders (Uniondale, NY)
Devils (Newark, NJ)
Red Bulls (Harrison, NJ)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 7 2010 Phillies Eagles 76ers Flyers Union (Chester, PA)
San Francisco Bay Area, California 5 2008 Giants (San Francisco, CA)
Athletics (Oakland)
49ers (San Francisco)
Raiders (Oakland)
Warriors (Oakland) Sharks (San Jose) Earthquakes (Santa Clara, CA)
Washington, D.C. 4 2005 Nationals Redskins' (Landover, MD) Wizards Capitals D.C. United

One other metropolitan area with teams in the four larger leagues also previously held five-sport status: Miami (Miami Fusion).

The San Francisco Bay Area lost five-sport status after the Earthquakes relocated to Houston to become the Dynamo in 2006, and regained it with the expansion Earthquakes in 2008.

Of cities that once held four-sport status, only Los Angeles and Kansas City have current MLS franchises; none has had four-sport status since MLS operations began. Both of Los Angeles's MLS franchises play outside of city limits, in Carson.

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

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

Notes and references

External links


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