The annual ESPN Sports Almanac (formally Information Please Sports Almanac),
includes a list (by city) of every current major professional team in North
America. Their list only includes the MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL and NHL. In the
past the list included the CFL and WNBA. After looking at this list year
in and year out I wondered what an all time list of major pro teams would
look like. Since I couldn't find such a list (by city) on the internet,
I started to make one myself. I started this list in May of 2002. The difference
in my list from ESPN's (other than the fact mine is a historical list instead
of a current one), is that I wanted to include all leagues in North America,
not just the majors. Once I finished my original list (which only had 50
leagues included), I decided to put this information on the internet, thinking
there was an interest in such information. Since I have a whole whack of
free space on Angelfire this was
no problem (but time consuming at times).
Why group a bunch of cities together as one metropolitan area?
To make my life much easier. I decided to group the teams by metropolitan
area rather than city so when teams moved around one metropolitan area
I wouldn't have to record that as a franchise shift. I only record the
change when the team changes it's name. For example, when the San Francisco
Warriors (NBA) moved across the bay to Oakland to become the Golden State
Warriors, I record the name change. When the Warriors played the 1997-98
season in San Jose while their arena was being rebuilt, I didn't have to
record that move because San Jose and Oakland are both in the San Francisco
Bay Area. Ditto when the LA Rams (NFL) moved to Anaheim (they kept the
name LA and only moved to the suburbs) or when the New Jersey Nets (NBA)
(Teaneck NJ, Commack NY, West Hemstead NY, Uniondale NY, Piscataway NJ,
East Rutherford NJ and soon Brooklyn NY) keep on moving around the New
York metropolitan area, I won't have to record every move. To help people
with this, I mentioned it in the introduction and I have included cross-references
throughout the site.
Why isn't Phoenix included in your list of metropolitan areas? They have
teams that play in the suburbs.
Because teams play in the suburbs doesn't mean the team actually "belongs"
to the suburb in question. In the case of Phoenix (for example) the Coyotes
(NHL) play in Glendale but "belong" to Phoenix. Ditto with the Cardinals
(NFL) in Tempe. Plus in the case of the Coyotes they played in Phoenix
from 1996 to 2003. They only moved to Glendale in December of 2003. This
means I would have to include yet another set of dates, creating confusion
to some people. To make the list of metropolitan areas the area in question
must have at least two cities grouped together within a reasonable geographic
range that have teams belonging to them. This usually means having the
city name in the team name. For example, for the purposes of this site
the Los Angeles area is made up of Anaheim, Long Beach and Los Angeles.
Granted, the Kings (NHL) and Lakers (NBA) played in Inglewood from 1967-99,
but Inglewood wasn't in any one's team name so the city doesn't appear
in the list. Another reason I don't include suburbs like Inglewood in the
list, is that it is difficult to list every city in the metropolitan area
that once played host to a team because getting information on obscure
leagues like the Continental Indoor Soccer League, International Boxing
League, National Bowling League, International Volleyball Association,
Women's Basketball Association, etc. is difficult to get at the best of
How does a team qualify for the "played some home games in ... "
As a general rule of thumb, if a team played some home games in x city
for one season only, it had to play at least three games in that city to
qualify for that designation. If the team played home games in x city for
more than one season it would of had to play two games in that city in
at least one of the seasons they played home games there. There are various
exceptions to this rule. Usually though the amount (or lack thereof) of
information I have in this category. Another exception is the Buffalo Sabres
(NHL) who played one home game in Rochester in the 2003-04 season. Since
they plan on playing more games in Rochester in future seasons, I included
this information on the site. Also in the old days the NBA played many
doubleheaders with two teams playing each other in one game and then two
different teams playing each other in another game. These are not included.
For the record, most were played at Madison Square Garden in New York.
What about the neutral site games the NHL played in 1992-93 and 1993-94?
They do not qualify. Since each team played only two neutral site games
each season one was designated as a "home" game and one was designated
an "away" game. For example, the the Tampa Bay Lightning's neutral site
"home" game in 1992-93 was played in Halifax. Since they only played one
"home" game in Halifax that year, it doesn't qualify for the "played some
home games in ... " designation.
Are there any leagues you want to add to the site, but you don't
have any information on?
If you have any information on the following leagues, please contact
Puerto Rican Winter League
Mexican Winter League
Dominican Winter League
Veneauelan Winter League
Intercounty Baseball League (Ontario)
Ontario Rugby Football Union
National Curling League (?) - proposed in the mid 1990's
W League (women's soccer)
I am sure that such and such a team played out of a differnent city
with the same name or within the same state.
Mistakes happen. E-mail them to me so they can get corrected.