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Which sport has teams that are most part of their cities?

  • Major League Baseball

    Votes: 2 33.3%
  • National Football League

    Votes: 4 66.7%
  • National Basketball Association

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Which major sport (MLB, NFL, NBA) is most attached to the fabric of American cities?

I'm not talking about which one is most popular. What I'm going for here is wheich one has teams that most affect the city's heart and the way that a city functions. Which has teams that are not just there, but an integral part of their cities?

For me, I'd eliminate the NBA and focus on MLB and NFL.

On game day, nothing is as rabid as an NFL game. No sport is more likely to have folks stay home to watch than NFL. None will draw a larger crowd (with the NBA not even in the same....sorry...ball park on this one). Of course, that's because so few games are played. During the play-offs, a city is totally drawn into the next game, a real event, with week-long hoopla.

That said, to me, nothing is part of a city as much as an MLB team. There is a tradition in MLB that far exceeds any other sport. MLB plays frequently throughout the week. Baseball crowds are far more a part of the neighborhood (or downtown) environment than NFL fans, who come, tail gate, watch the game and go home. Baseball fans stick around.
 

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^ I agree with your opinon on this one. MLB is in a popularity slump, but when it's working right it is the closest to the heart of a city.
 

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Well football certainly is the national sport and NFL is the most popular. But as ties to cities go I'd say the MLB because it has been around so long to form emotional bonds to its citizens. The neighborhood feel and intimacy of ballparks is part of this example: Wrigly Field and Fenway. The rivalry in the MLB is unmatched by anything else in the US but college football. New York vs Boston, Chicago vs Chicago, New York vs New York, Chicago vs St. Louis, Oakland vs San Francisco, Los Angeles vs San Francisco. If you just look at Boston and see how they embrace the Red Sox that proves the MLB's ties to the people of a city
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
zaqattaq, I don't know how I missed the issue of the ball park that you explained so well. Baseball parks have personalities far more than NFL stadiums, and those personalities spin off to city and team.

Baseball is unique; outfield dimensions differ and thus baseball parks can be individuals in the way that football stadiums are not.
 

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It does depend on where the team plays though. Older innercity teams might be more tied to the fabric than say the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim or the Texas Rangers who have always played out in the burbs. In Dallas, its definitely the NBA and NHL, probably because both have always played downtown. They do huge business for neighborhoods like the West End and the Main St area. The arena is responsible for what is becoming Victory, and most patrons ride rail there. Cowboys gamedays are huge, but they have played in the burbs for over 30 years and will again for the next 30. Mavs and Stars gamedays are great though. Always sold out, always filling nearby bars and restaurants. Both franchise represent the new and exciting, which is what Dallas has tried to use as its image. Maybe if the Rangers and Cowboys had built downtown things would be different.
 
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