Monday, November 15, 2010

When it Comes to Entertainment: Numbers Aren't Everything

I've beaten this horse to death so many times, that it looks like Keith Richards.  But I will beat it again, this time over the head with a lead-filled Excel spreadsheet table and a poison-tipped bar chart.

Topic? Why "Hampton Roads" (Virginia) doesn't have a professional football team.  Heck, professional ANY team.

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Based on census figures, Virginia Beach alone, one of six cities making up "Hampton Roads", has more people than St. Louis, Cleveland or Cincinnati.  Combine the metropolitan region into the total numbers, and we move up a bit, outranking even Atlanta, Denver, Baltimore and Charlotte.

But when people say we should have a pro franchise, they're not really looking at the facts as a whole:

  • Most people living here were not born here.  This is overwhelmingly a military town.
  • A large percentage of people here have lived here less than five years.
  • A large portion of sports fans are aligned with their teams from back home.
  • A large portion of sports fans don't expect to remain living here more than 5 years.
  • All past attempts to secure a franchise have failed.

Nobody is going to drop support for their home team when they have nothing to tie them "here" as local fans.  Once they are committed to supporting Washington, Pittsburgh or Dallas (just happens to be the three predominant fan base groups here), there's no chance they'll change colors to support the Hampton Roads Hacks or whatever they might be called (I can only imagine the dumbest names possible, due to our relative low-ranking stature in the marketing industry).

The only possible scenario would be to move a franchise here, which is not unrealistic.  However, it is improbable and impractical, for all the reasons above.  Given that 95 percent of the pro football fans fall into the "big three" named above (Washington, Dallas and Pittsburgh), if another franchise moved here, it would be ignored.  There isn't enough money or interest to pull one of those three here either.  So based on all the factors presently available, you have to pick a team to root for from another state.  We don't have a single professional Football, Baseball, Basketball or Hockey franchise in this state, much less in Hampton Roads.  Not one.  We've had them in the past.  Even a pro Soccer team, once.  But that was long ago.  Suck it up Virginia: People here don't like homegrown sports.  They prefer them imported.

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