U.S. cities with teams from four major sports

U.S. cities with teams from four major sports

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:
* National Football League (NFL), founded in 1920
* Major League Baseball (MLB), in existence "de facto" since 1903
* National Basketball Association (NBA), founded in 1946
* National Hockey League (NHL), founded in 1917

These principal cities are often said to have the "Grand Slam."Fact|date=January 2008

New York City, New York, the largest metropolis in the country, is the only one with at least two teams in each major sports league in its metro area, as well as being the only metro area to have 3 teams in a sports league (NHL).

Overview by city

The "Since" column indicates the year the metro area began hosting four teams.

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

The years in parentheses indicates when the team last won a championship in its current metropolitan area.

Analysis

Principal city versus metropolitan areas

Of these metropolitan areas, the only ones with a team in each sport that plays within the city 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 Detroit and Washington, D.C., have at least one sport represented solely by teams that play in a city's suburbs.

mallest population with all four

The metropolitan area with the smallest population to have at least one team in each of the four major sports is the Denver area, the 22nd largest in population, with 2,196,028 people as of 2000Fact|date=January 2008.Fact|date=January 2008 Additionally, Colorado is the least populous state to have a team in each major sport. However, as Denver is the hub for a vast area of the Rocky Mountain region, the city's influence far exceeds its population ranking and therefore supports franchises in all four major professional sports.

Largest population without a team

The largest metropolitan area (as of the 2000 U.S. Census) without a team in any of the four major sports is the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, the nation's 30th largest. [http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GCTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-_box_head_nbr=GCT-PH1-R&-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U&-format=US-10S] However, census estimates indicate that as of 2006 the fast-growing Las Vegas, Nevada metropolitan area has surpassed Hampton Roads in population to gain this distinction. [http://www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/CBSA-est2006-annual.html] Despite its population, Las Vegas is unlikely to get a franchise in the foreseeable future, however, due to its status as the U.S.'s sports gambling capital and the extreme refusal of American professional sports interests to have any open connection to the gambling industry.

The U.S. city with the largest population to have no teams in any of the four major sports is Austin, Texas; the nation's 16th most populated city. Austin's metropolitan area, however, is only the third largest without a team. [http://www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/CBSA-est2006-annual.html]

Largest population without all four

The metropolitan area with the greatest population not to have at least one team in each of the four major sports is the Greater Los Angeles Area, the 2nd largest in population, with 17,755,322 people. [http://www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/metro_general/2007/CBSA-EST2007-02.xls U.S. Census Bureau, Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Estimates] , Table 2. Annual Estimates of the Population of Combined Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007.] 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 relocated (the Raiders to Oakland and the Rams to St. Louis). Like New York, the Greater Los Angeles Area had 2 teams in each sport between the time the NHL awarded the expansion Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (now the Anaheim Ducks) and the time of the departure of the football teams. In 1999, the NFL wanted to grant its 32nd franchise to Los Angeles, but a workable ownership and stadium plan did not materialize, while Houston (which had lost its NFL franchise in a controversial relocation as well) did present such a plan and was awarded the Houston Texans franchise. Houston is the second-largest metropolitan area to not have a franchise in all four major professional sports; it lacks an NHL franchise.

Two of "one" of the four sports

The most common sport to have two separate teams within 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 franchise from each city relocated in the 1950s. As of 2006, Dallas is the largest TV market not to share two baseball teams.Fact|date=January 2008, and Philadelphia is next. Of all the cities with all four sports franchises, Philadelphia has waited the longest since their teams' previous championship (76ers in 1983--see the Curse of Billy Penn).

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 (who are expected to change their name to Brooklyn in the next few years as they plan to relocate to that borough). See List of New York metropolitan area sports teams. New York is also the only city to host at least one team in each sport throughout the entire period 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 Texas (however, it could be argued that the Baltimore Orioles previously served as Washington's baseball team, since the cities of Baltimore and Washington are less than 40 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).

tates with all four but not in one metro area

Among those states that do not have any metropolitan areas with a "Grand Slam", only Ohio has teams in all four major sports, including 2 NFL (The Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns) and 2 MLB teams (The Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians). The Cleveland Cavaliers are the state's only NBA franchise. The state's NHL team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, are the only professional team not located in Cleveland or Cincinnati.

Most populous state without all four

New Jersey is the most populous state without teams from all four major leagues, counting only the Devils and the Nets as home teams. Yet residents have access to far more teams: 13 in all, counting teams in New York and Philadelphia. The Jets and Giants play in New Jersey, across the parking lot from the Nets. North Jersey is part of the New York metro area and South Jersey is part of the Philadelphia metro area while parts of Central Jersey can almost be considered part of both.

North Carolina, which has three big-league teams, is the most populous state without teams from all four major leagues and without access to a metropolitan area hosting teams in all four major leagues.

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 exception

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, NBA, NHL and MLS 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. The possibility of an NFL team in Toronto, which is larger than many NFL cities,but since early 1997 an agreement between the NFL and CFL has precluded either league from placing a team within the borders of the other nation. However, the NFL has approved the plan of the Buffalo Bills to play one regular-season game a year at Toronto's Rogers Centre starting in 2008, as the Bills' profits depend on a considerable Southern Ontario fan base. [cite news|url=http://www.nfl.com/news/story;jsessionid=DAFF70E67B4A749C6DBA40480DC08656?id=09000d5d8066be0f&template=with-video&confirm=true |title=Commissioner announces Toronto plan for Bills |author=Associated Press |publisher=National Football League |date=2008-02-01 |accessdate=2008-02-08]

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

Montreal had the Montreal Expos NL team, which moved to DC. It still hosts the CFL Montreal Alouettes and the NHL Montreal Canadiens. Montreal formerly hosted a second NHL team, the defunct Montreal Maroons. Montreal also once had an NFL farm team, the WLAF Montreal Machine, before the league became exclusively European (NFL Europe). Additionally, Montreal once had a Division 1 soccer franchise.

Vancouver had the Vancouver Grizzlies NBA team, which moved to Memphis. It still hosts the CFL B.C. Lions and the NHL Vancouver Canucks. Additionally, Vancouver once had a Division 1 soccer franchise.

Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are the three most populous metropolitan areas in Canada, in that order.

Cities formerly with teams in all four leagues

Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, the San Francisco Bay Area, and St. Louis, formerly hosted teams in all four major sports leagues.
*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 4-sport club permanently when the Fort Wayne Pistons relocated to Detroit in 1957. The Lions moved from Tiger Stadium to the Pontiac Silverdome in 1977, and stayed there until moving back to downtown Detroit in 2002. The Pistons left Cobo Hall and played a majority of their games at the Silverdome from 1979-1988 (sporadically playing games at Joe Louis Arena when the Silverdome was double-booked or had suffered structural damage), before permanently moving to the Palace of Auburn Hills in 1988.
*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 4-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 Oakland 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.
*Cleveland briefly held four-sport status when the Seals moved there in 1976 as the Cleveland Barons, only to lose it when the Barons merged with the Minnesota North Stars (currently the Dallas Stars) in 1978.
*St. Louis was briefly a four-sport city from the 1967 NHL expansion until the departure of the NBA Hawks to Atlanta the following year.
*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 had all four sports from 1972-1980, only to see its NHL team move to Calgary, Alberta. Atlanta rejoined in 1999 with the expansion Thrashers.
*Kansas City had all four sports from 1974-1976, with the MLB's Royals, the NFL's Chiefs, the NBA's Kings, and the NHL's Scouts. After two unsuccessful years in Kansas City, the Scouts relocated to Denver (and later to New Jersey). The Kings moved to Sacramento in 1985.

As of 2007, Cleveland, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and St. Louis are the only cities to lose four-sport status without regaining it; of them, Kansas City is the only city to retain franchises in just two of the four leagues.

If the American Basketball Association (1967-76) were considered a major professional sports league, an additional city would have made the list: Pittsburgh. 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 (1971-78) were considered a major league, Houston would have made the list; the Houston Aeros operated throughout the WHA's existence from 1971 but were ultimately left out of the NHL-WHA merger negotiations and folded before the merger in 1978. 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.

occer (MLS)

Major League Soccer is the fifth-largest professional club sports league in the United States by revenue and attendance. Of the 14 metro areas with teams in the four larger leagues, seven host MLS franchises as well and an eighth will join that category once a Philadelphia franchise starts play in 2010.

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

Chicago is the only metro area whose current teams have won championships in all five leagues.

Los Angeles, which does not currently have 5-league status, has won championships in all five leagues: Anaheim Ducks (2007), LA Galaxy (2005), LA Angels (2002), LA Dodgers (1988), LA Lakers (2002), and LA (now Oakland) Raiders (1983).

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.

ee also

*U.S. states without major sports teams
*List of North American cities by number of major sports teams
*List of TV markets and major sports teams
*List of major professional sports teams in the United States and Canada

Notes and references


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