Where should they play?

*Disclaimer: This exercise is entirely hypothetical. I’m not suggesting a mass-relocation of teams should be done or is even remotely feasible. This was merely to appease my own curiosity.

When news broke that the St Louis Rams were moving back to Los Angeles and the San Diego Chargers may soon follow suit, it raised questions of why are they moving, and specifically why are they moving to Los Angeles. The short answer is that LA has a much larger population and thus would be better suited to support an NFL team than virtually any US city, let alone St Louis or San Diego. Going from zero teams to two may seem like a bit of an over-correction, but LA is so much larger than every US city save New York (who hosts multiple teams in all four leagues) that it makes sense that they may host two teams from the NFL (more precisely, they should only be adding one team to their metro-area. More on that later).

I was curious whether or not all of the 122 major pro sports teams (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL) in the US and Canada are properly distributed, so I did some analysis based on metro-area populations (according to Nielsen as of early 2015) and discovered that the teams are distributed quite well according to population, but there are a few exceptions. First, let’s run through the numbers:

  • 48 different metro-areas have at least 1 team (41 US, 7 Canada)
  • 31 different metro-areas have at least 2 teams (30 US, 1 Canada)
  • The largest metro-area without any teams is Hartford & New Haven, CT (the Whalers never should have left!), which sees 16 smaller metro-areas with teams, five of which (Kansas City, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Buffalo) have two teams.
  • The smallest multi-team metro-area is Buffalo at just under 1.6 million people. The smallest US metro-area with a team is Green Bay-Appleton (1.1 million) and the smallest in Canada is Winnipeg (just over 1 million).
  • 33 teams would need to be re-located to efficiently distribute them across the metro-areas.
  • The Bay Area (SF/Oakland/SJ) loses the most teams (from 6 down to 3).
  • The smallest metro-area to become a multi-team market is Sacramento.
  • 75 metro-areas would have at least one team.

The full chart shows more detail, including population and which teams move where. Here is a quick-glance summary of changes:

Rank US Rank Can. Rank Metro-area State/Prov Total Should have
1 1 New York NY 9 9
2 2 Los Angeles CA 7 7
3 3 Chicago IL 5 4
4 1 Toronto-Hamilton ON 3 4
5 4 Philadelphia PA 4 4
6 5 Dallas-Ft. Worth TX 4 3
7 6 San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose CA 6 3
8 7 Boston (Manchester) MA 4 3
9 8 Washington, DC (Hagrstwn) DC 4 3
10 9 Atlanta GA 3 3
11 10 Houston TX 3 3
12 2 Montreal QB 1 2
13 11 Phoenix (Prescott) AZ 4 2
14 12 Detroit MI 4 2
15 13 Tampa-St.Pete (Sarasota) FL 3 2
16 14 Seattle-Tacoma WA 2 2
17 15 Minneapolis-St. Paul MN 4 2
18 16 Miami-Ft. Lauderdale FL 4 2
19 17 Denver CO 4 2
20 18 Orlando-Daytona Bch-Melbrn FL 1 2
21 19 Cleveland-Akron (Canton) OH 3 2
22 3 Vancouver-Victoria BC 1 2
23 20 Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto CA 1 2
24 21 St. Louis MO 2 1
25 22 Pittsburgh PA 3 1
26 23 Portland OR 1 1
27 24 Charlotte NC 2 1
28 25 Raleigh-Durham (Fayetvlle) NC 1 1
29 26 Baltimore MD 2 1
30 27 Indianapolis IN 2 1
31 28 San Diego CA 2 1
32 29 Nashville TN 2 1
33 30 Hartford & New Haven CT 0 1
34 31 Kansas City MO 2 1
35 32 Columbus OH 1 1
36 33 San Antonio TX 1 1
37 34 Salt Lake City UT 1 1
38 35 Milwaukee WI 2 1
39 36 Cincinnati OH 2 1
40 37 Greenvll-Spar-Ashevll-And NC 0 1
41 38 West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce FL 0 1
42 39 Austin TX 0 1
43 4 Kitchener-London ON 0 1
44 40 Grand Rapids-Kalmzoo-B.Crk MI 0 1
45 41 Las Vegas NV 0 1
46 42 Norfolk-Portsmth-Newpt Nws VA 0 1
47 43 Birmingham (Ann and Tusc) AL 0 1
48 44 Oklahoma City OK 1 1
49 45 Harrisburg-Lncstr-Leb-York PA 0 1
50 46 Greensboro-H. Point-W.Salem NC 0 1
51 5 Edmonton AB 1 1
52 47 Alburquerque-Santa-Fe NM 0 1
53 6 Calgary AB 1 1
54 48 Jacksonville FL 1 1
55 49 Louisville KY 0 1
56 50 Memphis TN 1 1
57 51 New Orleans LA 2 1
58 52 Buffalo NY 2 1
59 53 Providence-New Bedford RI 0 1
60 7 Ottawa-Gatineau ON 1 1
61 54 Fresno-Visalia CA 0 1
62 55 Wilkes Barre-Scranton PA 0 1
63 56 Little Rock-Pine Bluff AR 0 1
64 57 Richmond-Petersburg VA 0 1
65 58 Albany-Schenectady-Troy NY 0 1
66 59 Mobile-Pensacola (Ft. Walt) AL/FL 0 1
67 60 Tulsa OK 0 1
68 61 Knoxville TN 0 1
69 62 Ft. Myers-Naples FL 0 1
70 63 Lexington KY 0 1
71 64 Dayton OH 0 1
72 65 Wichita-Hutchinson Plus KS 0 1
73 66 Charleston-Huntington WV 0 1
74 67 Roanoke-Lynchburg VA 0 1
75 68 Green Bay-Appleton WI 1 1
76 69 Flint-Saginaw-Bay City MI 0 0
77 8 Québec City QB 0 0
78 70 Tuscon Sierra Vista AZ 0 0
79 71 Des Moines-Ames IA 0 0
80 72 Spokane WA 0 0
81 73 Omaha NE 0 0
82 74 Springfield MO 0 0
83 75 Toledo OH 0 0
84 76 Honolulu HI 0 0
85 77 Columbia SC 0 0
86 78 Rochester NY 0 0
87 9 Winnipeg MB 1 0

To determine which teams change locations, I tried to apply at least one of the following criterion to each team:

  • Shortest possible distance of move
  • Move the metro-area’s least popular/newest team(s)
  • Add the likely most-popular sport to the recipient metro-area

Towards the bottom of the list I ran out of teams to match these criteria effectively, so had to just randomly assign to complete the moves.

It may seem like some of these metro-areas are too small to successfully host a team, but I’d argue that an area that only has one team will rally that much harder behind them, especially when the team is successful (see: Green Bay). It is easy for an unsuccessful team in a multi-team area to be forgotten, but when the team is the only show in town they’re not going to be ignored.

There were several surprising discoveries from this exercise:

  • The Bay Area has way too many teams. They’re close to being large enough to host four, but six is really excessive for their population.
  • Flint, MI is the largest metro-area that would not get a team.
  • Montreal is nearly large enough to host 3 teams; currently has just one.
  • Hartford really should have a team; they’re almost big enough to justify two teams.
  • Green Bay would be the smallest metro-area with a team. The Packers can stay!
  • The current distribution has about 201 million people in metro-areas with a team, with an average of 1.819 million people per team. The hypothetical distribution has about 245 million people in metro-areas with a team, with an average of 1.968 million people per team. The hypothetical gets not only more people living in a pro sports town, but also gets more people per team in these locations.

Please feel free to pose questions and suggest changes to which teams re-locate and where they should go.

 

College Basketball Rankings & Bracket 1/24/16

Bracket and Full 351 Rankings for games through 1/23/16. Full rankings for use in the composite Massey Ratings, and bracket seeding for use in the Bracket Matrix.

 

Seed Team Conference
1 Villanova Big East
1 North Carolina Atlantic Coast
1 Oklahoma Big 12
1 Xavier Big East
2 Iowa Big Ten
2 Texas A&M Southeastern
2 Kansas Big 12
2 Virginia Atlantic Coast
3 Maryland Big Ten
3 Iowa St Big 12
3 Michigan St Big Ten
3 Indiana Big Ten
4 Miami FL Atlantic Coast
4 Oregon Pacific-12
4 Purdue Big Ten
4 West Virginia Big 12
5 Arizona Pacific-12
5 Duke Atlantic Coast
5 Dayton Atlantic 10
5 Providence Big East
6 Kentucky Southeastern
6 Texas Big 12
6 Louisville Atlantic Coast
6 Pittsburgh Atlantic Coast
7 South Carolina Southeastern
7 Michigan Big Ten
7 Wichita St Missouri Valley
7 Baylor Big 12
8 USC Pacific-12
8 Notre Dame Atlantic Coast
8 Colorado Pacific-12
8 Connecticut American
9 St Joseph’s PA Atlantic 10
9 Utah Pacific-12
9 Florida Southeastern
9 G Washington Atlantic 10
10 Creighton Big East
10 Syracuse Atlantic Coast
10 St Mary’s CA West Coast
10 Seton Hall Big East
11 California Pacific-12
11 VA Commonwealth Atlantic 10
11 Butler Big East
11 Washington Pacific-12
11 Georgetown Big East
12 Gonzaga West Coast
12 Boise St Mountain West
12 Valparaiso Horizon
12 Ark Little Rock Sun Belt
12 Hawaii Big West
13 N Illinois Mid-American
13 Monmouth NJ MAAC
13 Chattanooga Southern
13 UAB Conference USA
14 James Madison Colonial
14 S Dakota St Summit
14 TAM C. Christi Southland
14 Stony Brook America East
15 Belmont Ohio Valley
15 Princeton Ivy
15 North Florida Atlantic Sun
15 UNC Asheville Big South
16 Weber St Big Sky
16 New Mexico St WAC
16 Navy Patriot
16 Hampton MEAC
16 Southern Univ SWAC
16 Wagner Northeast
Last Four In
Butler
Washington
Georgetown
Gonzaga

Final College Football Rankings 1/12/16

Full 128 FBS Rankings include records and strength of schedule (including postseason games). Alabama was near the top in schedule strength prior to the playoff and those two games were enough to give them the top spot, which makes their season that much more impressive; this was clearly the best team in 2015.

Stanford’s jump to number two makes sense when the context of schedule strength is included; 4th strongest compared to Clemson’s 30th strongest. Along the same lines, LSU was fortunate to have had their game with McNeese St cancelled as that would’ve hurt their schedule strength more than an extra win over an FCS team would’ve helped it. Similarly, USC is ranked fairly high despite 6 losses because their schedule was so difficult.

Next year I’ll include a weekly update on schedule strength with the rankings. I’ll also have more analysis on ticket prices, and I’d like to incorporate TV ratings though the data I’ve found for this past season was typically incomplete.

Rank Team Conference
1 Alabama SEC
2 Stanford PAC12
3 Clemson ACC
4 Oklahoma XII
5 Michigan State B1G
6 Ohio State B1G
7 Mississippi SEC
8 Texas Christian XII
9 Iowa B1G
10 Michigan B1G
11 Louisiana State SEC
12 Oregon PAC12
13 Northwestern B1G
14 Baylor XII
15 Houston Amer
16 Utah PAC12
17 North Carolina ACC
18 Notre Dame Ind
19 Arkansas SEC
20 Tennessee SEC
21 Florida State ACC
22 Oklahoma State XII
23 Florida SEC
24 Wisconsin B1G
25 Mississippi State SEC

College Basketball Rankings & Bracket 1/11/16

*Note: Final College Football Rankings will be posted after tonight’s national championship game.

Bracket and Full 351 Rankings for games through 1/10/16. Full rankings for use in the composite Massey Ratings, and bracket seeding for use in the Bracket Matrix.

Seed Team Conference
1 Villanova Big East
1 Xavier Big East
1 North Carolina Atlantic Coast
1 Kansas Big 12
2 Michigan St Big Ten
2 Oklahoma Big 12
2 Duke Atlantic Coast
2 Iowa Big Ten
3 Miami FL Atlantic Coast
3 Maryland Big Ten
3 Virginia Atlantic Coast
3 Texas A&M Southeastern
4 West Virginia Big 12
4 South Carolina Southeastern
4 Pittsburgh Atlantic Coast
4 Providence Big East
5 Kentucky Southeastern
5 Indiana Big Ten
5 Purdue Big Ten
5 Arizona Pacific-12
6 Oregon Pacific-12
6 Iowa St Big 12
6 USC Pacific-12
6 Dayton Atlantic 10
7 Utah Pacific-12
7 Gonzaga West Coast
7 Louisville Atlantic Coast
7 St Joseph’s PA Atlantic 10
8 Texas Tech Big 12
8 Wichita St Missouri Valley
8 Butler Big East
8 Seton Hall Big East
9 Creighton Big East
9 G Washington Atlantic 10
9 Valparaiso Horizon
9 Baylor Big 12
10 Texas Big 12
10 St Mary’s CA West Coast
10 Oregon St Pacific-12
10 Colorado Pacific-12
11 UCLA Pacific-12
11 Ohio St Big Ten
11 Michigan Big Ten
11 California Pacific-12
11 Georgia Tech Atlantic Coast
12 Marquette Big East
12 Connecticut American
12 Boise St Mountain West
12 Ark Little Rock Sun Belt
12 Monmouth NJ MAAC
13 Hawaii Big West
13 Akron Mid-American
13 Chattanooga Southern
13 UAB Conference USA
14 S Dakota St Summit
14 William & Mary Colonial
14 TAM C. Christi Southland
14 UNC Asheville Big South
15 Stony Brook America East
15 Belmont Ohio Valley
15 Princeton Ivy
15 North Florida Atlantic Sun
16 CS Bakersfield WAC
16 Montana Big Sky
16 Navy Patriot
16 Wagner Northeast
16 Jackson St SWAC
16 Hampton MEAC
Last Four In
Michigan
California
Georgia Tech
Marquette

College Basketball Rankings & Bracket 1/5/16

Bracket and Full 351 Team Rankings for games through 1/4/16. Full rankings for use in the composite Massey Ratings, and bracket seeding for use in the Bracket Matrix.

Seed Team Conference
1 Xavier Big East
1 Villanova Big East
1 North Carolina Atlantic Coast
1 Oklahoma Big 12
2 Kansas Big 12
2 Michigan St Big Ten
2 Virginia Atlantic Coast
2 Iowa Big Ten
3 Maryland Big Ten
3 Miami FL Atlantic Coast
3 Providence Big East
3 Arizona Pacific-12
4 West Virginia Big 12
4 Duke Atlantic Coast
4 Purdue Big Ten
4 Texas Tech Big 12
5 Kentucky Southeastern
5 Texas A&M Southeastern
5 Iowa St Big 12
5 St Mary’s CA West Coast
6 Dayton Atlantic 10
6 South Carolina Southeastern
6 Louisville Atlantic Coast
6 Seton Hall Big East
7 G Washington Atlantic 10
7 California Pacific-12
7 Michigan Big Ten
7 Gonzaga West Coast
8 Colorado Pacific-12
8 Pittsburgh Atlantic Coast
8 USC Pacific-12
8 St Joseph’s PA Atlantic 10
9 Connecticut American
9 UT Arlington Sun Belt
9 Butler Big East
9 Texas Big 12
10 Arizona St Pacific-12
10 Indiana Big Ten
10 Florida Southeastern
10 Oregon St Pacific-12
11 Oregon Pacific-12
11 Utah Pacific-12
11 Ohio St Big Ten
11 Northwestern Big Ten
11 Ark Little Rock Sun Belt
12 Monmouth NJ MAAC
12 Evansville Missouri Valley
12 Kansas St Big 12
12 Valparaiso Horizon
12 S Dakota St Summit
13 Chattanooga Southern
13 Hawaii Big West
13 Louisiana Tech Conference USA
13 Boise St Mountain West
14 Akron Mid-American
14 Northeastern Colonial
14 Stony Brook America East
14 TAM C. Christi Southland
15 UNC Asheville Big South
15 Idaho Big Sky
15 Belmont Ohio Valley
15 Princeton Ivy
16 CS Bakersfield WAC
16 North Florida Atlantic Sun
16 Army Patriot
16 Wagner Northeast
16 Jackson St SWAC
16 Howard MEAC
Last Four In
Ohio St
Northwestern
Ark Little Rock
Kansas St

College Basketball Rankings & Bracket 1/2/16

Bracket and Full 351 Team Rankings for games through 12/31/15. Full rankings for use in the composite Massey Ratings, and bracket seeding for use in the Bracket Matrix.

Seed Team Conference
1 Xavier Big East
1 Villanova Big East
1 Oklahoma Big 12
1 Michigan St Big Ten
2 Virginia Atlantic Coast
2 North Carolina Atlantic Coast
2 Miami FL Atlantic Coast
2 Purdue Big Ten
3 Providence Big East
3 Iowa Big Ten
3 Duke Atlantic Coast
3 Kansas Big 12
4 Arizona Pacific-12
4 Maryland Big Ten
4 Texas A&M Southeastern
4 Seton Hall Big East
5 Iowa St Big 12
5 West Virginia Big 12
5 Pittsburgh Atlantic Coast
5 Butler Big East
6 St Mary’s CA West Coast
6 Texas Tech Big 12
6 Dayton Atlantic 10
6 Kentucky Southeastern
7 G Washington Atlantic 10
7 Arizona St Pacific-12
7 South Carolina Southeastern
7 Utah Pacific-12
8 Colorado Pacific-12
8 Louisville Atlantic Coast
8 Connecticut American
8 USC Pacific-12
9 Michigan Big Ten
9 Oregon Pacific-12
9 UT Arlington Sun Belt
9 Texas Big 12
10 Indiana Big Ten
10 Vanderbilt Southeastern
10 Georgia Southeastern
10 Gonzaga West Coast
11 Florida St Atlantic Coast
11 Kansas St Big 12
11 Northwestern Big Ten
11 Ark Little Rock Sun Belt
11 Notre Dame Atlantic Coast
12 St Joseph’s PA Atlantic 10
12 Evansville Missouri Valley
12 Monmouth NJ MAAC
12 Chattanooga Southern
12 Hawaii Big West
13 Valparaiso Horizon
13 S Dakota St Summit
13 Louisiana Tech Conference USA
13 Akron Mid-American
14 UNLV Mountain West
14 Col Charleston Colonial
14 TAM C. Christi Southland
14 Stony Brook America East
15 UNC Asheville Big South
15 Belmont Ohio Valley
15 Army Patriot
15 Idaho Big Sky
16 Princeton Ivy
16 CS Bakersfield WAC
16 NJIT Atlantic Sun
16 Wagner Northeast
16 Southern Univ SWAC
16 Hampton MEAC