I’ve always been curious about seeing a list of cities that have Major League Baseball teams and which cities don’t in terms of population. Wikipedia gives a list of the 263 most populated cities in the United States.
However, I find this statistic to be very misleading. Yes, Chicago’s population is 2,836,658, but that doesn’t include all the surrounding suburbs and nearby cities that constitute a concentrated base of fans. A more accurate stat is the population of metropolitan statistical areas and wiki has a table for that as well.
Now we can easily see which largest metro areas don’t have MLB teams and how they rank against the smallest MLB markets. I don’t know why Google lists Riverside as its own city. It’s really part of the Los Angeles metro area in my opinion. Riverside residents can easily make the trip to see a Dodgers or even an Angels game.
The largest metropolitan area without a baseball team is Portland. Poor Portland. They’re not even close to traveling to San Fran, Oakland, or Seattle for a game. The whole mix of metro areas from 22-30 is interesting. I’ll list them again here in a more concise list:
22. Pittsburgh – YES
23. Portland – NO
24. Cincinnati – YES
25. Sacramento – NO
26. Cleveland – YES
27. Orlando – NO
28. San Antonio – NO
29. Kansas City – YES
30. Las Vegas – NO
In theory, Portland, Sacramento, Orlando, San Antonio, or Las Vegas can have a Major League Baseball franchise because there’s other markets of similar size that do have a MLB team.
And then all the way down at 39 is Milwaukee. There are 13, count ’em 13 metro areas that are larger than the metro-Milwaukee area that don’t have MLB teams. How does Milwaukee do it?