Thursday, February 16, 2006

Could the Triangle Support an MLS Team?

I know there have been plenty of arguments along this topic but this is the first time I've seen data linked to a conclusion on the topic of whether or not the Triangle could support an MLS team. has published a study where they looked at 179 markets in the United States and determined their viability to support additional pro sports franchises. The basic inputs to their model are the Total Personal Income (TPI) available in that market less an adjustment to TPI for any existing pro franchises already in the area. According to the study, Raleigh-Durham-Cary had $79.8 billion in TPI in 2003 but the adjustment for the Carolina Hurricanes brings that down to an Available TPI of $44.1 billion. According to the study, a market requires the following Available TPI in order to support another pro sports franchise:

  • MLB: $89.2 billion
  • NBA: $38.4 billion
  • NHL: $35.7 billion
  • NFL: $33.0 billion
  • MLS: $16.1 billion
Therefore, the $44.1 billion Available TPI is enough for the Triangle to support one additional pro franchise of any of these five sports except professional baseball. Interestingly enough, the Triad area is the best suited NC metro area for a new pro sports franchise with $54.0 billion in both TPI and Available TPI (they currently have no pro franchises) and Charlotte is almost completely saturated with only $3.0 billion in Available TPI after the adjustments for their basketball and football franchises. So where' are the best markets in the USA for MLS expansion? According to, it's Philadelphia and Rochester.

-- Jarrett @ 2/16/2006 09:28:00 AM


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