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Potential Relocation Cities Lacking Income?

Business Journal doesn't feel any of the most often stated cities have the personal income to support a MLB team.

Breaking out their calculators they came up with their figures of what level of personal income was needed to support the different pro sports.

Among the nation's four major sports, the study indicates an MLB team requires the most personal income from a region - at least $89.2 billion, which is more than double the other three sports. A National Basketball Association team is viable in a market with $38.4 billion, a National Hockey League in a $35.7 billion market and the National Football League, with its revenue sharing and lucrative TV contracts, can work in a market of $33 billion.

MLB is higher due to the large number of home games and its limited revenue sharing.

So how do the cities breakdown:

Here's the breakdown of income levels in cities where the Marlins are looking:

  • San Antonio: The market has $55.4 billion in personal income and is home to the NBA-champion Spurs. estimates there is only $17 billion in personal income left to support another team.
  • Las Vegas: The gambling and tourism Mecca has no pro teams and $56.2 billion in personal income - enough for any of the other three leagues, but $30 billion short for baseball.
  • Portland, Ore.: The NBA's Trailblazers have one of the NBA's nicest arenas in the Rose Garden. Without them, the $86.5 billion in personal income would be almost enough to support the Marlins, but in reality, there's only about $48.1 billion left to support the team.
  • Charlotte, N.C.: The Queen City has the NFL's Carolina Panthers and NHL's Hurricanes. Charlotte has $74.3 million in personal income, but there's only $3 billion left for the Marlins.

I searched and searched Business Journal's website and couldn't find the raw data on the cities.  I suppose the logic of directly subtracting the established team from the personal income of a city is due to: once the income is spent it is not available to fund the newer team.  Though it is not clear to me that say the NBA team will necessarily be favored over a MLB team.  Perhaps it will.

Baseball Musings thinks drawing 2 million fans over the course of 81 home games isn't a bad thing.  Given a viable stadium deal, I think he is right.  That is about a 25,000 in attendance average.  Shoot, the Marlins almost achieved that total last year (22,000) and with a history of the team's front office not exactly endearing itself to the region.

Andrew Zimbalist, noted sports economist, in an interview with Bleeding Cubbie Blue had this paraphrased:

...cities that could support major league baseball, in his opinion, include: Portland, San Antonio, Sacramento, Charlotte, the Riverside/San Bernardino section of metro Los Angeles (this surprised me, but Dr. Zimbalist said that although it's part of the LA TV market, it wouldn't necessarily encroach on territorial rights), and Las Vegas, "once the political objections are worked out".

Should the team stay in South Florida?  You bet.  That would be for the best and it makes the most sense.  But I'm not buying that they don't, in the long run, have anywhere else to go.