I know we all have heard since yesterday and this morning, that the Rams are leaving St. Louis to play in Los Angeles. Now we all know this move was made for money/business  purposes. One thing  is overlooked when these moves are made….. The fans. So this piece of sports news got my brain flowing this morning. What are some good markets that have been overlooked for a Pro Sports team?

There are many cities in the United States that do not have a single professional sports team. Some of these cities could be very profitable for a franchise. These cities have large populations and are in an area that is miles and miles away from another pro sports team. With that in mind, that could develop a fan base that would pay good money to attend games.

Some cities without a professional sports team have populations that number into the millions. Compare this to Green Bay, Wisconsin, the smallest city with a pro sports team. It’s kind of a crazy thought. Green Bay has a population of just 305,000 people. Somehow, the Packers sell out every single game. If this is the case in such a small city, why would some of the most populated cities in the country not have a team of their own? Very good question, wouldn’t you say so?

In order to be a good location for a professional sports team a city typically needs a large population. Ideally, that population should be growing. The city needs to have a nice number of media outlets in order to broadcast games to local and national fan base. It is also very helpful to be in a geographic location that is very far from any other sports teams. This is especially true for two teams of the same sport. This will limit competition between the two cities and give a team a far reaching fan base to tap into.

Here are a few overlooked U.S. markets to throw out there, that should that some investors should look at.


5) Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque has a metro area population of 902,797; the largest of any city in New Mexico. Like Virginia, the state of New Mexico has no sports teams. In fact, fans must either cheer for teams in Arizona, Texas, or California; miles away from their home. The city has two minor league sports teams and the University of New Mexico. This would be a great market simply based on the land area a team would cover. People from all around would want to buy tickets for a sports.

4) Norfolk, VA

There are no professional sports teams in the state of Virginia. The city of Norfolk shares a metropolitan area with Virginia Beach. Together these two cities make up the state’s largest metropolitan area. Norfolk already hosts the first two rounds of the NCAA’s Women’s Final Four which shows there is an interest in basketball in the city. It has the world’s largest naval base and a large gender imbalance in favor of males. I don’t think selling tickets will be a problem if you factor that in.

3) Las Vegas, NV

The main reason Las Vegas, Nevada, does not have a professional sports team is the same reason why one could be so profitable. Many people have considered starting a franchise in the city, but have decided against it because of the town’s rampant sports betting business. This just means there is a huge interest in sports in the city. Vegas has tons of hotels that could give shelter to those staying in town to catch a game, and its constant flow of tourists could definitely support a sports franchise.

2) Birmingham, AL

Birmingham is the most populated city in Alabama. In fact, about a quarter of all the people living in the state live in the Birmingham metropolitan area. The city has had a few professional football teams, but none of them have been involved in the NFL. It was also home to one of the most popular Negro League baseball teams, the Birmingham Black Barons. With a large population and no other team to compete with in the state, Birmingham is a prime location for a new team.

1) Louisville, KY

Louisville, Kentucky is a big time sports city. Unfortunately, it does not have a pro team of its own. Louisville is home to one of the most popular sports colleges in the country. It is also the home of the nationally well known Kentucky Derby. The city also has a major sports business located within its limits: Louisville Slugger. Louisville has actually had two NFL teams, the Louisville Breck and the Louisville Colonels. Both these teams were discontinued during the 1920s. Not only are sports in the nature of Louisville, but the city is growing. 1,334,872 people already call the Louisville metro area home and one third of the state’s population growth is a result of the immediate land area surrounding the city.


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