How Many Professional Sports Teams Can Denver Support?

December 2009

Denver is generally considered a good sports city, with solid fan bases for several professional sports teams. Apparently, though, our hearts are in the right places, but we don't have anywhere near enough money to properly support our teams. That's according to a study by Portfolio.com/bizjournals, which finds Denver among the four most over-saturated professional sports cities in the U.S., along with Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Tampa. Together, Denverites claim a total personal-income of $119 billion, an estimated $92.5 billion short of "adequately" supporting the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and Colorado Rapids. The Denver Business Journal points out that the data doesn't suggest Denver is in danger of losing any of its professional sports teams, but it is "a reliable sign that those teams can expect continued volatility in attendance and revenues." The data does show that the Broncos rank among the NFL's attendance leaders, and the Rockies were in the upper half of Major League Baseball attendance last year. But attendance at Nuggets, Avalanche, and Rapids games rank in the bottom half of their respective leagues for the most recent full seasons. The best city for professional sports expansion? Los Angeles, which apparently has the economic vitality to support its eight existing franchises (two baseball teams, three basketball teams, two hockey teams, and a soccer team), plus an additional five NFL teams.