Twin Cities over-saturated with sports?

Rick Mons

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MinnPost's Jay Weiner takes a look at the Twin Cities sports market and raises the question of whether it's over-saturated with demand for corporate support and whether the general public can afford to buy non-premium tickets to all the teams that are looking for fans.

there is more for Minnesotans to be concerned about than the national economy's impact on local teams. There is the changing face of sports leagues themselves and, most importantly, the inescapable wealth — or lack of same — of the Twin Cities market.

(There are) about 220 suites and 3,900 club seats in the Metrodome and the two multi-purpose arenas, Target Center and Xcel Energy Center. With the opening of the Gophers' football stadium and Twins ballpark, there will be about 310 suites and more than 8,200 club seats.

Three years ago, researcher G. Scott Thomas of American City Business Journals and bizjournals.com analyzed sports markets and concluded that the Twin Cities are as stretched as any market in the nation.

In his 2006 calculations, a community needed about $196 billion in regional personal income to support one NFL team, one Major League Baseball team, one NHL team and one NBA team. The Twin Cities, based on 2006 data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, had total personal income of its residents of about $171 billion.
Wiener also points out that the Target Center is now 20 years old and showing its age. Add that to:
  • the continued quest for a new stadium by the Vikings;
  • the fact that capital dollars are already scarce; and,
  • the T-wolves dismal record post-Garnett
I'd say it's going to be bye-bye T-wolves unless the Vikings pull up stakes first. And then it may be just a matter of time before the T'wolves also fail.

The full column is here
 

Zeppelin Gopher

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The Wolves aren't going anywhere. There are multiple franchises who are much worse off financially than we are (New Orleans, Memphis, Milwaukee, New Jersey, etc)
 

Omega015

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I believe this market and Denver are the smallest ones with all four "major" sports franchises. I think losing one would be good for the others. The NBA and NHL could both lose 6 franchies and nobody would notice.

If the NBA were to drop or relocate a team, the Wolves should be on the chopping block, since they had trouble selling playoff tickets most years and it is pathetic how empty that arena is now on most nights. I remember being able to walk up and buy $10 seats for playoff games against San Antonio. That is not the sign of a healthy franchise.
 

Gopher4Life

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Perhaps 1-2 too many pro franchises for the college programs to earn the attention they need and deserve.

I'm not comparing the cities now, but Fayetteville, AR, has no pro sports and every single citizen is a Razorback fan wearing red. Every last business supports the Hogs. Municipal unity, immaculate sports venues, focused alumni groups, devoted boosters for every sport, packed houses, rolling in money, and plenty of championships.
 

mnboiler

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Perhaps 1-2 too many pro franchises for the college programs to earn the attention they need and deserve.

I'm not comparing the cities now, but Fayetteville, AR, has no pro sports and every single citizen is a Razorback fan wearing red. Every last business supports the Hogs. Municipal unity, immaculate sports venues, focused alumni groups, devoted boosters for every sport, packed houses, rolling in money, and plenty of championships.
Gopher4Life you brought up a great point. The University of Arkansas has one of the of the same major advantages that the University of Minnesota has. It is the only BSC team in the state. But the bigger advantage that the Razorbacks have is that they don't have the competition from the pro sports teams. Which allows all sports dollars going right to the Razorbacks. But before you go and say that Arkansas doesn't have any big corporations around Wal-Mart is located 30 down the road and Tyson(world's largest meatpacker) is even closer with J.B. Hunt(one of the biggest truckin companies in America) in the middle there is easily enough corporate dollars floating around. Not to mention they have Jerry Jones.

As much as Gopher fans don't like it the Gopher's will never be the #1 ticket in town(unless they win a back to back NC and the wheels fall off the bus for the rest of the sports-Hey! about half way there on that one) and Gopher fans are going to have to learn to deal with it. I also believe with atleast 50000 living alumi in the Twin Cities area there is no reason for the Gopher's not to sell out every home football game-its alma mater people if it doesn't mean anything to you, you most likely went to the wrong school.

Any way the corporate doller is so thin in Minnesota that sometime something is going to give. Between the big 4 sports+a major athletics department+secondary pro sports(Lynx, Swarm, Thunder)+maybe the best theater this side of New York+everything else something is going to have to give. Know what that will be I don't know.
 

jamiche

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The wolves have a lease, so they aren't going anywhere. The only "free agent" is the Vikings and it will be very interesting to see what happens between now and 2012. In the the current economy, no one else is going to build them a stadium UNLESS the NFL decides to move into Mexico or Europe.
 

tikited

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As long as the Lynx don't leave... Man, I don't know what I'd do!
 

Gopher4Life

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mnboiler,

>>But before you go and say that Arkansas doesn't have any big corporations around...<<

Why would I say such a crazy thing?

The Razorbacks programs (athletic and academic) have made full use of very generous corporate support. Many of those millions would have been diverted if NW Arkansas also had a pro franchise or two.
 

mnboiler

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G4Life I wasn't singling you out I was just pointing you the fact. The common sterotype is that Arkansas is rural and a little backwards. I was simply pointing out the fact that some major businesses are based in NW Arkansas.
 

Gopher4Life

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>>The common sterotype is that Arkansas is rural and a little backwards.<<

Much of AR is.
 

GopherRock

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Keep in mind a few years ago in the Strib, this same Jay Weiner wrote a straight-faced column openly advocating the U of M leaving the Big Ten and dropping to D3, a la U of Chicago. This was not written back in the 70s when Malcom Moos was actually trying to do this. This was in 2003 or 2004, right when the stadium push was going on at the Legislature.
 

MrGopher

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It has to be the Twolves.

The NFL, like it or not, is our nation's pastime. It brings in the most money, the most attention, etc. If the Vikes left, we would immediately be one of the very top markets fully capable of supporting a new football team. Just like Cleveland, just like Houston, just like LA, just like Baltimore, The NFL belongs in certain places. The NFL belongs in Minnesota--the problem here is the stadium.
Hockey is our state's pastime... It's here to stay. From pee-wees to pros, it is Minnesota.
Baseball has a tremendous foothold in the Midwest, both in rural, and urban areas. And the Twins have a cult-ish following throughout the state.

Basketball is popular across the country, but not especially in this market. Minnesota does not need an NBA team and a Big Ten program.
 
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