Minnesota can't afford its sports teams

Categories: Sports
Thumbnail image for Metrodome.jpg
We can't afford to buy tickets to this beautiful building.
It's bad enough all of Minnesota's sports teams stink. Now, it turns out we can't even afford them.

Minneapolis-St. Paul is about $40 billion too poor to host four professional teams, according to a new study by the Business Journal. That deficit ranks the Twin Cities ninth-worst out of 85 metro areas studied, and definitely doesn't help in the ongoing appeal to keep the Minnesota Vikings from becoming the Los Angeles Vikings.

The study  weighs a city's total personal income against the number of pro teams in town. In ninth place, Minneapolis-St. Paul is behind depressed cities, financially and otherwise, like Cleveland and Pittsburgh. But the Twin Cities, with four teams, are apparently a worse host than Detroit, which has four teams and absolutely no jobs.

According to the Business Journal, a city needs about $85 billion to adequately support a baseball team, what with 81 home games each year. NFL, NBA, and NHL teams each need around $35 billion, and an MLS team can get by on $15 billion.

Minneapolis-St. Paul has a total personal income of around $154 billion, according to another Business Journal report, but most of that total probably comes from Glen Taylor, the Timberwolves' billionaire owner.
Thumbnail image for Zygi Wilf.jpg
Sorry, Zygi, we're broke.

Topping the list of "overextended" sports cities is Denver, which has teams in all five major sports -- football, basketball, hockey, baseball, and soccer -- and is about $87 billion short of being able to support them. Cleveland is second-worst: With only three sports teams, none of which have Lebron James anymore, the city's about $70 billion short.

Midwestern cities dominate the worst-off rankings, with Milwaukee, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Green Bay -- which has only one pro team -- all making the list.

Last week, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf was asked if fans should be worried about the team heading for L.A., which has no pro football -- and, it should be pointed out, didn't make the "overextended" list, despite its having two baseball teams, two basketball teams, and one each in soccer and hockey. Wilf told reporters that everyone should calm down, the team's not going anywhere, according to the Star Tribune.

"No, we've got momentum here in Arden Hills," Wilf said, referring to the proposed stadium site.

You've got momentum, sure, Zygi. But we're between paychecks right now. Can you spot us, like, $40 billion?


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13 comments
Lothar
Lothar

No city, state or planet can afford pro sports anymore.  Keep spreading the word.  Pro sports have become a huge hostage scheme ("give us a billion bucks or we move the team to ... ummm ... Kankakee ... no? ... Walla Walla ... that's the ticket ...  Walla Walla"). 

Connor MacManus
Connor MacManus

Oh look, more garbage written by angry liberal Mark Mellon... or whatever his name is.

Namarchio
Namarchio

The methodology is a total joke from an econ 101 class. They ignored the fact that Minnesota is surrounded by North & South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, which all are home to Vikings fans. Think of the Vikings as representing a market that covers 5 states (not just one metro area as is described in the methodology). This leads to a huge bias against the midwest.

CJB
CJB

Just curious if this study only factored in the income for the specific city, the greater metropolitan area, or if it factored the entire state. Sure, Minneapolis might not itself be able to handle multiple sports teams, but believe it or not our teams draw fans from all over. I'm assuming that since Green Bay is even on the list the study does not draw from outside the town proper. It also seems a little pointless to drop the LA speculation in this article, considering there are other teams including the San Diego Chargers who are much more likely to make the move, buuuuuuuut... I suppose when I think Citypages, I think more hipster/scene writing than journalism or serious coverage.

Flawed
Flawed

Uh this is a really stupid study not worth making an article about.

Cubistera79
Cubistera79

The huge difference between Detroit and the Twin Cities is that Detroit has good ownership. Minnesota has some of the worst ownership and GMs in the nation across all sports.

-Max

Namarchio
Namarchio

Moreover, Vikings are a big draw and leads to a infusion of revenue from surrounding areas without a major football team.

Albatross
Albatross

Were you planning on offering examples of how the study is flawed, or were you figuring for "stupid" to cover all the bases?

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

Laughs at the thought of the Detroit Lions having good ownership. 

supernets
supernets

Really? Are you just talking about the products on the field? Because Glen Taylor is a billionaire well-committed to the Wolves and Lynx, the Twins are known as one of the best-run organizations in sports, the Wild have squandered a hockey-hungry area with poor results but still boast a tremendous arena and good sales...

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