This is a list of metropolitan areas in the United States and Canada categorized by the number of major professional sports franchises in their metropolitan areas.

Major professional sports leagues

Main article: Major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada

The major professional sports leagues, or simply major leagues, in the United States and Canada are the highest professional competitions of team sports in the two countries. Although individual sports such as golf, mixed martial arts, tennis, and auto racing are also very popular, the term is usually limited to team sports.

The term "major league" was first used in 1921 in reference to Major League Baseball (MLB), the top level of professional American baseball. Today, the major northern North America professional team sports leagues are Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL) and the National Hockey League (NHL).[1]

These four leagues are also commonly referred to as the Big Four. Each of these is the richest professional club competition in its sport worldwide. The best players can become cultural icons in both countries and elsewhere in the world, because the leagues enjoy a significant place in popular culture in the U.S. and Canada. The NFL and NHL each have 32 teams, and the MLB and the NBA each have 30 teams. The most recent market to receive its first "Big Four" team is Las Vegas, Nevada, which saw the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights make their debut for the 2017–18 season.

Baseball, football and hockey have had professional leagues for over 100 years; early leagues such as the National Association, Ohio League and National Hockey Association formed the basis of the modern MLB, NFL and NHL respectively. Basketball is a relatively new development; the NBA evolved from the National Basketball League and its splinter group the Basketball Association of America, taking on its current form in 1949. The fifth biggest professional sports league is Major League Soccer (MLS). While soccer is very popular globally, in Canada and the United States it has struggled to become established with several professional leagues being established and folding before MLS was founded in 1996. The Canadian Football League (CFL), a much smaller league (9 teams), is also popular in Canada. All of these leagues draw 15,000 or more fans in attendance per game on average as of 2015. This list includes a ranking by teams in the Big Four (B4) and a separate ranking including MLS and CFL teams called the Big Six (B6).

Metropolitan area

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Though teams are listed here by metropolitan area, the distribution and support of teams within an area can reveal regional fractures below that level, whether by neighborhood, rival cities within a media market or separate markets entirely. Baseball teams provide illustrations for several of these models. In New York City, the Yankees are popularly dubbed the "Bronx Bombers" for their home borough and generally command the loyalties of fans from the Bronx, parts of Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan, Long Island, parts of North Jersey and Westchester County, New York, while the Mets play in Queens and draw support from Queens, Brooklyn and parts of Long Island, revealing a split by neighborhood. The San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics represent rival cities within the Bay Area, a single media market. Though the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles share a metro area, their cities anchor separate media markets and hold distinctly separate cultural identities. In Los Angeles, the Lakers and Clippers share an arena ( Arena) and media coverage is split amongst different broadcasters in the metro area.

With the Vegas Golden Knights, based in the Las Vegas Valley, the 23rd largest market in North America, having joined the National Hockey League in 2017, the largest urban areas without a team in one of the big four leagues are the 30th-ranked Austin region (though it has had a Major League Soccer team since 2021) and the 37th-ranked Virginia Beach-Norfolk region. The smallest metropolitan area to have a Big Four team is Green Bay (Green Bay Packers), which is the 146th largest metropolitan area, though much of its fan base is drawn from Milwaukee, which is 120 miles away and the 38th largest market. The smallest stand-alone metropolitan area to have a Big Four team is the 78th-largest market, Winnipeg (Winnipeg Jets), while the Buffalo, New York area is the smallest metropolitan area to have more than one Big Four teams (Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres).

Foxborough, Massachusetts, population 18,618 as of the 2020 Census, is a small town which hosts two major-league teams (the New England Patriots and the New England Revolution). Foxboro is considered part of the Boston metropolitan area, even though it is slightly closer to Providence, Rhode Island. In a comparable situation, the even smaller town of East Rutherford, New Jersey, population 10,022, hosts the New York Giants and New York Jets, and also hosted the New York Red Bulls before that team built its own stadium in nearby Harrison, New Jersey. The city of Newark, New Jersey previously hosted the now-Brooklyn Nets, and still hosts the New Jersey Devils. Newark, East Rutherford, and Harrison are all part of the New York City metropolitan area.

Teams by metropolitan area

The following list contains all metropolitan areas in the United States and Canada containing at least one team in any of the six major leagues. The number of teams in the big four leagues (B4) and the big six leagues (B6), and the city's teams in the National Football League (NFL),[2] Major League Baseball (MLB),[3] the National Basketball Association (NBA),[4] the National Hockey League (NHL),[5] Major League Soccer (MLS)[6] and the Canadian Football League (CFL).[7] No metropolitan area has teams in all six leagues, as NFL teams are exclusively in the United States and CFL teams are exclusively in Canada.

Metropolitan area Country Pop.
(2022 est.)[8]
New York City United States 1 19,617,869 9 Giants
[note 1]
[note 2]
[note 3]
11 Red Bulls
New York City FC
Los Angeles United States 2 12,872,322 8 Rams
[note 4]
10 Galaxy
Los Angeles FC[note 5]
Chicago United States 3 9,441,957 5 Bears[note 6] Cubs
White Sox
Bulls[note 7] Blackhawks 6 Fire
San Francisco Bay Area United States 6 6,518,123 5 49ers[note 8] Giants
Warriors Sharks[note 9] 6 Earthquakes
Dallas–Fort Worth United States 4 7,943,685 4 Cowboys[note 10] Rangers Mavericks Stars 5 FC Dallas
Washington, D.C. United States 7 6,373,756 4 Commanders[note 11] Nationals[note 12] Wizards[note 13] Capitals 5 D.C. United
Philadelphia United States 8 6,241,164 4 Eagles[note 14] Phillies[note 15] 76ers[note 16] Flyers[note 17] 5 Union
Miami–Fort Lauderdale United States 11 6,139,340 4 Dolphins Marlins Heat Panthers 5 Inter Miami CF[note 18]
Boston United States 13 4,900,550 4 Patriots[note 19] Red Sox[note 20] Celtics Bruins 5 Revolution
Minneapolis–Saint Paul United States 18 3,693,729 4 Vikings[note 21] Twins Timberwolves[note 22] Wild[note 23] 5 United FC
Denver United States 21 2,985,871 4 Broncos Rockies Nuggets[note 24] Avalanche[note 25] 5 Rapids
Phoenix United States 12 5,015,678 4 Cardinals Diamondbacks Suns Coyotes 4
Detroit United States 15 4,345,761 4 Lions[note 26] Tigers[note 27] Pistons[note 28] Red Wings 4
Toronto Canada 10 6,202,225 3 [note 29] Blue Jays Raptors[note 30] Maple Leafs 5 Toronto FC Argonauts
Houston United States 5 6,772,470 3 Texans[note 31] Astros Rockets 4 Dynamo
Atlanta United States 9 6,222,106 3 Falcons Braves Hawks [note 32] 4 United FC
Seattle United States 17 4,034,248 3 Seahawks Mariners[note 33] [note 34] Kraken 4 Sounders FC
Tampa Bay Area United States 19 3,290,730 3 Buccaneers Rays [note 35] Lightning 3 [note 36]
Pittsburgh United States 31 2,349,172 3 Steelers Pirates [note 37] Penguins[note 38] 3
Cleveland United States 37 2,063,132 3 Browns[note 39] Guardians[note 40] Cavaliers[note 41] [note 42] 3
St. Louis United States 23 2,801,319 2 [note 43] Cardinals[note 44] [note 45] Blues[note 46] 3 St. Louis City SC
Charlotte United States 25 2,756,069 2 Panthers Hornets[note 47] 3 Charlotte FC
Cincinnati United States 33 2,265,051 2 Bengals[note 48] Reds[note 49] [note 50] 3 FC Cincinnati
Kansas City United States 34 2,209,494 2 Chiefs[note 51] Royals[note 52] [note 53] [note 54] 3 Sporting Kansas City
Nashville United States 38 2,046,828 2 Titans Predators 3 Nashville SC
Baltimore United States 22 2,835,672 2 Ravens[note 55] Orioles[note 56] [note 57] 2 [note 58]
Las Vegas United States 32 2,322,985 2 Raiders [note 59] Golden Knights 2 [note 60]
Indianapolis United States 36 2,141,779 2 Colts [note 61] Pacers[note 62] 2
Milwaukee United States 42 1,559,792 2 [note 63] Brewers[note 64] Bucks[note 65] 2
New Orleans United States 52 1,246,176 2 Saints Pelicans[note 66] 2
Buffalo United States 54 1,161,192 2 Bills[note 67] [note 68] [note 69] Sabres 2
Montreal Canada 16 4,291,732 1 [note 70] Canadiens[note 71] 3 CF Montréal Alouettes
Vancouver Canada 27 2,642,825 1 [note 72] Canucks 3 Whitecaps FC Lions
Orlando United States 24 2,764,182 1 Magic 2 Orlando City SC
Portland United States 28 2,509,489 1 Trail Blazers 2 Timbers
Columbus United States 35 2,161,511 1 [note 73] Blue Jackets 2 Crew
Calgary Canada 45 1,481,806 1 Flames 2 Stampeders
Ottawa Canada 43 1,488,307 1 Senators[note 74] 2 Redblacks[note 75]
Edmonton Canada 47 1,418,118 1 Oilers 2 Elks[note 76]
Salt Lake City United States 51 1,266,191 1 Jazz 2 Real Salt Lake
Winnipeg Canada 79 834,678 1 Jets[note 77] 2 Blue Bombers
San Diego United States 20 3,276,208 1 [note 78] Padres [note 79] 1 [note 80]
San Antonio United States 26 2,655,342 1 [note 81] Spurs 1 [note 82]
Sacramento United States 30 2,416,702 1 Kings 1 [note 83]
Jacksonville United States 40 1,675,668 1 Jaguars 1
Oklahoma City United States 46 1,459,380 1 Thunder[note 84] 1
Memphis United States 49 1,332,305 1 [note 85] Grizzlies 1 [note 86]
Raleigh United States 44 1,484,338 1 Hurricanes 1
Green Bay United States 173 330,292 1 Packers 1
Austin United States 29 2,421,115 0 1 Austin FC
Hamilton Canada 87 785,184 0 [note 87] 1 Tiger-Cats
Regina Canada 210 249,217 0 1 Roughriders
Totals 124 32 30 30 32 162 29[note 80] 9
  1. ^ Seven NFL teams have previously played in the New York City area: the New York Giants (1921; no relation to the current Giants), the Brooklyn Lions/Horsemen 1926, the New York Yankees (1927-1929), the Orange/Newark Tornadoes (1929-1930), the Staten Island Stapletons (1929-1932), the Brooklyn Dodgers/Tigers/Yanks (1930-1945) and the New York Bulldogs/Yanks (1949-1951).
  2. ^ The New York Mutuals played in the National League's inaugural season in 1876, but were expelled at the end of that season. The next year, the Hartford Dark Blues moved to nearby Brooklyn (then an independent city) and played the 1877 season as the Hartfords before it dissolved. The Gothams/Giants played in Manhattan from 1883 and the Brooklyn Atlantics/Grays/Bridegrooms/Grooms/Bridegrooms/Superbas/Trolley Dodgers/Superbas/Robins/Dodgers played in Brooklyn (which became part of New York City in 1898) from 1890 (when it joined the NL from the AA); both teams respectively moved to San Francisco and Los Angeles in 1958. Before the move to the West Coast, the Dodgers played several home games in Jersey City at Roosevelt Stadium. The Newark Peppers were a member of the Federal League in 1915.
  3. ^ The New York/Brooklyn Americans played in the NHL from 1925 until suspending operations in 1942, and were disbanded in 1946.
  4. ^ The Rams and Chargers are both in their second stints in the Los Angeles market. The Rams arrived from Cleveland in 1946 and played in the L.A. area until moving to St. Louis after the 1995 season; they would return to L.A. in 2016. The Chargers were originally based in Los Angeles, playing there for the AFL's first season in 1960 before moving to San Diego, where they would play until returning to L.A. in 2017. In addition to the Rams and Chargers, two other NFL teams have called Los Angeles home. The Buccaneers (no relation to NFL franchise in Tampa) played in the 1926 season; despite representing Los Angeles, the team operated out of Chicago because of the difficulty of transcontinental travel in the era before modern air travel. The Oakland Raiders played in Los Angeles from 1982 to 1994, before they moved back to Oakland.
  5. ^ Club Deportivo Chivas USA was a Major League Soccer club that existed between 2005 and 2014 before folding.[9]
  6. ^ The Chicago Tigers played one season in the NFL (then APFA) in 1920, while the Chicago Cardinals were a charter franchise of the NFL, before moving to St. Louis in 1960.
  7. ^ Chicago has had two prior NBA teams: the Stags existed from 1946 to 1950 before folding and the Packers/Zephyrs played from 1961 to 1963, before moving to Baltimore.
  8. ^ The Oakland Raiders called Oakland home from 1960 until 1982 and again from 1995 until 2019 before relocating to Las Vegas becoming the Las Vegas Raiders.
  9. ^ The California Golden Seals were an NHL expansion team which played in Oakland from 196776, when they moved to Cleveland to become the Cleveland Barons.
  10. ^ Two other top-level football teams have played as the Dallas Texans. The first Texans played in the NFL for one season in 1952. The second Texans were one of the eight original teams of the AFL in 1960, and played under that name through the 1962 season, after which they moved to Kansas City, Missouri and began play under their current name of Kansas City Chiefs.
  11. ^ The Washington Senators played 1 season in the NFL (then APFA) in 1921. The Commanders were known as the Redskins from 1937, when they moved from Boston, until 2020 when the name was temporarily changed to the Washington Football Team; the Commanders name was adopted in 2022.
  12. ^ Before the then-Montreal Expos moved to Washington in 2005, four MLB teams (two per league) had played in Washington. In the National League, the original Nationals played from 1886 to 1889. Three teams also played under the name of the Washington Senators: The NL's Senators, who played from 1892 until it was contracted in 1899, and two American League Senators teams (the Senators/Nationals/Senators, who moved to Minneapolis in 1960 and a new Senators team which moved to Dallas in 1971).
  13. ^ The Washington Capitols were a charter member of what became the NBA; the team dissolved midway through the 1950-1951 season.
  14. ^ The Frankford Yellow Jackets played from 1924-1931.
  15. ^ The Athletics played in the National League's inaugural season in 1876, before being expelled from the league. Another Athletics team was established in the American League in 1901 and played until 1954, when the team moved to Kansas City.
  16. ^ The Philadelphia Warriors played from 1946-1962.
  17. ^ The Quakers played in the NHL for the 1930-1931 season. Afterwards, the team suspended operations for the next five years before officially announcing their dissolution in 1936.
  18. ^ Miami Fusion F.C. was an MLS club located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that played from 1998 to 2001 when they folded.[10]
  19. ^ Before the Patriots joined the NFL as a result of the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, three other NFL teams had played in Boston: the Bulldogs (1929, disbanded), the Braves/Redskins (1932-1936, moved to Washington) and the Yanks (1944-1948, moved to New York and became the Bulldogs).
  20. ^ The Red Caps/Beaneaters/Doves/Rustlers/Braves/Bees/Braves played in the National League from the league's 1876 inception until it moved to Milwaukee in 1953.
  21. ^ The Minneapolis Marines/Red Jackets played in the NFL from 1921-1924 and again from 1929-1930.
  22. ^ The Minneapolis Lakers played in the NBA (formerly BAA) from 1947 to 1960, when the team moved to Los Angeles to become the Los Angeles Lakers.
  23. ^ The Minnesota North Stars were an NHL expansion team that played in Bloomington from 1967 to 1993, when the team moved to Dallas and became the Dallas Stars.
  24. ^ The Denver Nuggets joined the NBA in 1949 as a result of the BAA's merger with the NBL, but dissolved following their first NBA season; the current Denver Nuggets joined the NBA as part of the ABA–NBA merger of 1976 and are not related to the original Nuggets.
  25. ^ The Kansas City Scouts relocated to become the Colorado Rockies in 1976, but subsequently moved again and were renamed the New Jersey Devils in 1982. The current Colorado Avalanche were established when the Quebec Nordiques relocated from Quebec City in 1995.
  26. ^ Detroit was home to the NFL (then APFA) Detroit Heralds/Tigers from 1920-1921, the Detroit Panthers from 1925-1926, and finally the Detroit Wolverines in 1928.
  27. ^ The Detroit Wolverines played in the National League from 1881 until the team disbanded in 1888.
  28. ^ The Detroit Falcons played in the inaugural season of what would become the NBA, but disbanded following that season.
  29. ^ While Toronto has not had an NFL franchise, the Buffalo Bills did host one of the team's regular season games each year and a number of pre-season games at the Rogers Centre from 2008 to 2013 as part of the Bills Toronto Series.
  30. ^ The Toronto Huskies played in the inaugural season of what would become the NBA, before dissolving. The Buffalo Braves were an NBA team that played a total of 16 home games in Toronto from 1971 to 1975.[11]
  31. ^ Houston hosted the Houston Oilers from 1960 (where they played in the AFL until its merger with the NFL in 1970) through 1996 when the team moved to Tennessee—initially being called the Tennessee Oilers in its first season in Memphis and its second season in Nashville until ultimately being renamed the Tennessee Titans upon the opening of the team's current Nashville stadium in 1999.
  32. ^ The NHL expanded to Atlanta in 1972 with the Atlanta Flames, but the team departed for Calgary, Alberta in 1980 to become the Calgary Flames. In 1999 another expansion franchise, the Atlanta Thrashers, was established, but this team moved to Winnipeg and became the current Winnipeg Jets in 2011.
  33. ^ The Seattle Pilots played one season in 1969, before moving to Milwaukee and becoming the Brewers.
  34. ^ The Seattle SuperSonics began play in 1967, but in 2008 was moved to Oklahoma City and was renamed as the Oklahoma City Thunder.
  35. ^ The Toronto Raptors temporarily played in Tampa in Amalie Arena due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-21.
  36. ^ The Tampa Bay Mutiny was a charter franchise of MLS in 1996. However, the franchise folded in 2001.[10]
  37. ^ Pittsburgh had one of the founding members of what became the NBA: the Pittsburgh Ironmen. However, they only played a single season (1946–47) before folding.
  38. ^ The Pirates played in the NHL from 1925 until the team moved to Philadelphia in 1930 due to the effects of the Great Depression.
  39. ^ Five other NFL teams have played in the Cleveland area: the Tigers (1920-1922; the team suspended operations and could not pay an annual guarantee), the Indians/Bulldogs (1923-1927, when the team moved to Detroit and became the Wolverines), the Indians (1931), the Rams (1937-1946; moved to Los Angeles) and the original Browns (1950-1995). The original Browns' owner Art Modell had planned to move the Browns to Baltimore but was threatened by legal action from both Cleveland and Browns fans; the dispute was resolved when Modell was given an expansion franchise in Baltimore using existing Browns personnel, while the city of Cleveland was allowed to retain the team's intellectual property for a new Browns franchise.
  40. ^ 2 former baseball teams played in the National League: the Blues (1879-1884, when the teams was folded into the Brooklyn Grays) and the Spiders (1889-1899, when the team was contracted from the league). The Guardians were known as the Indians from 1914 to 2021.
  41. ^ The Cleveland Rebels played in the inaugural season of the NBA's predecessor, the BAA, before dissolving.
  42. ^ The California Golden Seals of the NHL relocated to Cleveland for the 1976–77 season and were renamed the Barons. However, the team was merged into the Minnesota North Stars following the 1977–78 season.
  43. ^ St. Louis has hosted four NFL teams: the St. Louis All-Stars in 1923, the St. Louis Gunners who played the last 3 games of the 1934 season, the St. Louis Cardinals who played from 1960 to 1988 before moving to Phoenix, Arizona, and the St. Louis Rams who played from 1995 to 2015, before moving back to Los Angeles.
  44. ^ Before the Cardinals joined the National League from the defunct American Association in 1892, St. Louis had been home to two NL teams: the St. Louis Brown Stockings, which dissolved in 1877, and the Maroons, which joined the NL in 1885 from the defunct Union Association and moved to Indianapolis in 1887. In addition, the Browns played in the American League from 1901 until it moved to Baltimore in 1954.
  45. ^ St. Louis has been home to two NBA teams: the St. Louis Hawks, who moved to Atlanta and became the Atlanta Hawks in 1968 and the St. Louis Bombers, who folded in 1950.
  46. ^ The Eagles, a relocation of the Ottawa Senators, played in the NHL for the 1934-1935 season; after a request to suspend operations for the following season was rejected by the NHL, the team was disbanded and its players dispersed among the league's remaining teams.
  47. ^ The original Hornets franchise played in the NBA from 1988 to 2002, before moving to New Orleans. The current Hornets were established in 2004 as the Charlotte Bobcats, but re-assumed the Hornets name in 2014, after the New Orleans Hornets renamed themselves the Pelicans and transferred their records and statistics from their time as the original Hornets to the current Charlotte franchise.
  48. ^ Cincinnati was home to the NFL (then APFA) Cincinnati Celts in 1921 and later the Cincinnati Reds from 1933-1934.
  49. ^ The Red Stockings, informally known as the "Reds", played in the National League from 1876 until it was expelled in 1880 for violating league rules. The current Reds joined the NL in 1890 from the AA.
  50. ^ The Cincinnati Royals were an NBA team founded as the Rochester Royals in 1948, before moving to Cincinnati in 1957. Upon moving to Kansas City, Missouri in 1972, the team was renamed as the Kansas City-Omaha Kings.
  51. ^ Kansas City was home to the Kansas City Blues/Cowboys from 1924-1926.
  52. ^ Kansas City was home to the National League Kansas City Cowboys in 1886 and the American League's Kansas City Athletics from 1955 until it moved to Oakland in 1968.
  53. ^ Kansas City had an NBA team from 1972 to 1985, having moved from Cincinnati, Ohio where they were known as the Cincinnati Royals. The team was known as the Kansas City-Omaha Kings from 1972 to 1975 because it played home games in both Kansas City, Missouri and Omaha, Nebraska. Starting with the 1975–76 season, the team played exclusively in Kansas City and was known as the Kansas City Kings. The Kings moved to Sacramento, California in 1985.
  54. ^ In 1974 the Kansas City Scouts were granted an NHL expansion franchise. However, the franchise became the Colorado Rockies in 1976.
  55. ^ Baltimore was home to two NFL teams, both named the Colts. The original Colts played in the 1950 NFL season before folding, while the second Colts team played from 1953 until it relocated to Indianapolis following the 1983 season.
  56. ^ The original Orioles joined the National League in 1892 from the defunct American Association and played there until they were contracted from the NL in 1899. Another Orioles team played in the American League for two years, before dissolving after the 1902 season.
  57. ^ Baltimore was home to two NBA teams, both named the Bullets. The original Bullets played in the American Basketball League and NBA from 1944 to 1954. The second team was founded in 1963, following the relocation of the Chicago Zephyrs to Maryland. For the next 11 seasons, the Bullets played in Baltimore before moving to Landover, Maryland, within the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, in 1973.
  58. ^ Baltimore was granted a CFL expansion franchise in 1994, the Baltimore Stallions, which relocated to Montreal after the 1995 season to become the current Montreal Alouettes.
  59. ^ Las Vegas has never had an NBA team, but the Utah Jazz played 11 home games in Las Vegas during the 1983-1984 season.
  60. ^ The Las Vegas Posse were a CFL expansion franchise that existed for only the 1994 season.
  61. ^ The Indianapolis Blues played in the National League for the 1878 season, while the St. Louis Maroons moved to Indianapolis and played as the Hoosiers from 1887 until the team dissolved in 1889. A second Indianapolis Hoosiers team took the field in 1914, and won the championship of the new Federal League, which is officially considered to be a major league. The franchise moved to Newark, New Jersey for the league's second and final season.
  62. ^ Before the Pacers joined the NBA in 1976 as a result of the ABA–NBA merger, two NBA teams had played in Indianapolis: the Indianapolis Jets of the NBL joined the BAA (the NBA's immediate predecessor) in 1948, but dissolved the following year when the NBL merged with the BAA, in favor of the NBL's Indianapolis Olympians. The Olympians would disband in 1953.
  63. ^ Milwaukee had an NFL franchise from 1922-1926 called the Milwaukee Badgers. A few years after the Badgers folded, the Green Bay Packers would play a portion of their home schedule in Milwaukee on a regular basis from 1933 until 1994.
  64. ^ Prior to the Brewers, three MLB teams have played in Milwaukee. In the National League, the Grays played in the 1878 NL season, while the Braves played in the city from 1953 until it moved to Atlanta in 1965. The original Brewers played in the American League's inaugural season in 1901 before moving to St. Louis and becoming the Browns.
  65. ^ Milwaukee was home to the Milwaukee Hawks from 1951-1955.
  66. ^ The New Orleans Jazz played in the NBA in 1974 before moving to Salt Lake City in 1979. The Pelicans themselves (not related to the Jazz) were formerly a relocation of the Charlotte Hornets, but in 2013 the renamed Pelicans transferred its records and statistics from their time in Charlotte to the Charlotte Bobcats, who were about to reassume the Hornets name. The Pelicans are now considered an expansion team starting play in 2002 as the New Orleans Hornets, then renaming themselves as the Pelicans in 2013.
  67. ^ Before the Bills joined the NFL as a result of the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, two other NFL teams played in the Buffalo area. The All-Americans/Bisons/Rangers/Bisons played in the city under several different owners until 1929 (not playing the 1928 season), while the Tonawanda Kardex Lumbermen played in Tonawanda in the 1921 season, but disbanded after a lopsided loss in their sole NFL game. From the 2008 to 2013 seasons, the Bills hosted one of their regular season games and a number of preseason games at Toronto's Rogers Centre as part of the Bills Toronto Series.
  68. ^ The Bisons played in the National League from 1879 until it left the league in 1885; the Bisons have played in the minor leagues in one form or another since. In addition, the Toronto Blue Jays played a majority of their home games in Buffalo during the 2020 season due to COVID-19-related issues preventing the Blue Jays from playing in Toronto.
  69. ^ The Buffalo Braves were an NBA team that moved to San Diego, California in 1978 to become the San Diego Clippers.
  70. ^ Montreal was home to a Major League Baseball team, the Montreal Expos, beginning in 1969. However, the team moved to Washington, D.C. in 2005, where it was renamed as the Washington Nationals.[12][13][14]
  71. ^ Montreal was home to two other NHL clubs. The Montreal Wanderers who played a portion of the NHL's inaugural 1917/18 season, and the Montreal Maroons who played in the NHL from 1924-1938.
  72. ^ The expansion Vancouver Grizzlies of the NBA began play in 1995. However, in 2001 the team moved to Memphis, Tennessee and was renamed as the Memphis Grizzlies.
  73. ^ Columbus had an NFL team called the Columbus Panhandles that played from 1920-1926.
  74. ^ An earlier Ottawa Senators played in the NHL from 1917-1934.
  75. ^ Two CFL teams have previously played in the Ottawa area: The Rough Riders, who existed from 1876 to 1996 and the Renegades, who played from 2002 to 2006.
  76. ^ The Elks were known as the Eskimos from 1949 until 2020, then temporarily calling themselves the Edmonton Football Team before adopting the Elks name in 2021.
  77. ^ The original Winnipeg Jets relocated to become the Phoenix Coyotes (known as the Arizona Coyotes since 2014) in 1996. The current Winnipeg Jets were established by the relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers in 2011.
  78. ^ San Diego hosted the San Diego Chargers from 1961 (where they initially played in the AFL until the league's merger with the NFL in 1970) through 2016, at which point the team moved back to its original city of Los Angeles for the 2017 season.
  79. ^ San Diego has had two NBA franchises: the San Diego Rockets and the San Diego Clippers. The Rockets represented San Diego from 1967 until 1971 when they moved to Houston, Texas to become the Houston Rockets. Seven years later, the Buffalo Braves moved to town and were renamed the San Diego Clippers, where they played until 1984, when the team relocated to Los Angeles and became the Los Angeles Clippers.
  80. ^ a b A MLS expansion team in San Diego is scheduled to begin play in 2025.
  81. ^ San Antonio served as a temporary home for the New Orleans Saints during the 2005 NFL season due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina.
  82. ^ The San Antonio Texans were a CFL team that played in 1995 CFL season, having relocated from Sacramento, California, where the team had been called the Sacramento Gold Miners, but folded after a single season.
  83. ^ The Sacramento Gold Miners were a CFL expansion team based in Sacramento, California for two years before relocating to become the San Antonio Texans.
  84. ^ Oklahoma City served as a temporary home for the New Orleans Hornets for two seasons due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina.
  85. ^ The NFL's Houston Oilers relocated to Memphis for one season (as the Tennessee Oilers) in 1997 before moving to Nashville to become the Tennessee Titans.
  86. ^ The Memphis Mad Dogs were a CFL expansion franchise that existed for only the 1995 season.
  87. ^ The Hamilton Tigers played in the NHL from 1920–25.

Teams by state/province/territory

The number of Big Six teams based on their home state is shown in the map below:

US States by number of major sports teams
US States by number of major sports teams

The number of Big Six teams based on their home state/province/territory is shown in the map below:

Big 6 sports teams
Big 6 sports teams
Pop. rank (2014)
(U.S.[15] + Canada[16])
Big four
teams (B4)
NFL[2] MLB[3] NBA[4] NHL[5] Big six
teams (B6)
MLS[6] CFL[7]
United States California 1 15 Chargers
18 Galaxy
Los Angeles FC
United States Florida 3 9 Jaguars
11 Orlando City SC
Inter Miami CF
United States Texas 2 8 Cowboys
Stars 11 Dynamo
FC Dallas
Austin FC
United States New York 4 8 Bills[note 1] [note 2] Mets
9 New York City FC[note 3]
United States Pennsylvania 7 7 Eagles
76ers Flyers
8 Union
United States Ohio 8 6 Bengals
Cavaliers Blue Jackets 8 Crew
FC Cincinnati
United States Illinois 6 5 Bears Cubs
White Sox
Bulls Blackhawks 6 Fire
Canada Ontario 5 4 [note 1] Blue Jays Raptors Senators
Maple Leafs
8 Toronto FC Tiger-Cats
United States Massachusetts 16 4 Patriots Red Sox Celtics Bruins 5 Revolution
United States Colorado 24 4 Broncos Rockies Nuggets Avalanche 5 Rapids
United States Minnesota 23 4 Vikings Twins Timberwolves Wild 5 United FC
United States Missouri 20 4 Chiefs Royals
Blues 5 St. Louis City SC
United States Arizona 17 4 Cardinals Diamondbacks Suns Coyotes 4
United States Michigan 11 4 Lions Tigers Pistons Red Wings 4
United States New Jersey 12 3 Giants[note 2]
Jets[note 2]
Devils 4 Red Bulls[note 3]
United States Washington, D.C. [note 4] 3 [note 5] Nationals Wizards Capitals 4 D.C. United
United States Georgia 9 3 Falcons Braves Hawks 4 United FC
United States Tennessee 19 3 Titans Grizzlies Predators 4 Nashville SC
United States Washington 15 3 Seahawks Mariners Kraken 4 Sounders FC
United States North Carolina 10 3 Panthers Hornets Hurricanes 4 Charlotte FC
United States Maryland 21 3 Ravens
Commanders[note 5]
Orioles 3
United States Wisconsin 22 3 Packers Brewers Bucks 3
Canada Alberta 30 2 Flames
4 Stampeders
United States Indiana 18 2 Colts Pacers 2
United States Louisiana 27 2 Saints Pelicans 2
United States Nevada 35 2 Raiders Golden Knights 2
Canada Quebec 14 1 Canadiens 3 CF Montréal Alouettes
Canada British Columbia 28 1 Canucks 3 Whitecaps FC Lions
United States Oregon 31 1 Trail Blazers 2 Timbers
United States Utah 37 1 Jazz 2 Real Salt Lake
Canada Manitoba 47 1 Jets 2 Blue Bombers
United States Oklahoma 32 1 Thunder 1
United States Kansas 38 0 1 Sporting Kansas City[note 6]
Canada Saskatchewan 48 0 1 Roughriders
34 states/­provinces/­districts 124 32 30 30 32 162 29 9
  1. ^ a b The NFL's Buffalo Bills held one of the team's regular season games each year and a number of pre-season games at Toronto's Rogers Centre from 2008 to 2013 as part of the Bills Toronto Series.
  2. ^ a b c The New York Giants and Jets both play their home games at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
  3. ^ a b The New York Red Bulls play their home games in Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
  4. ^ Washington, D.C. would have the 57th largest population if it were a state.
  5. ^ a b The Washington Commanders play their home games at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.
  6. ^ Sporting Kansas City play their home games at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

See also


  1. ^ Everson, Darren (May 7, 2009). "The Four Sports Commissioners Weigh In". The Wall Street Journal. p. D9. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "NFL Football Teams". NFL Enterprises. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "MLB Team Contact Information". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Team Index". NBA Media Ventures. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Teams". NHL Enterprises. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Clubs". Major League Soccer. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  7. ^ a b " – Official site of the Canadian Football League". Canadian Football League. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  8. ^ "Demographia World Urban Areas – 12th Annual Edition" (PDF). Demographia. April 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 27, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  9. ^ "MLS announces new strategy for Los Angeles market, 2015 conference alignment" (Press release). Major League Soccer. October 27, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
  10. ^ a b Freedman, Jonah (January 5, 2012). "The Throw-In: Did eliminating Tampa, Miami save MLS?". Major League Soccer. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  11. ^ Buffery, Steve (November 3, 2004). "The road was paved". Toronto Sun. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  12. ^ Bloom, Barry M. (September 29, 2004). "MLB selects D.C. for Expos". Retrieved September 29, 2004.
  13. ^ "Ballpark financing issue may kill deal". Associated Press. December 15, 2004.
  14. ^ "Announcement will come Wednesday". Associated Press. September 28, 2004.
  15. ^ Table 2. Cumulative Estimates of Resident Population Change for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico and Region and State Rankings: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014 (Report). United States Census Bureau. December 23, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  16. ^ "Estimates of population, Canada, provinces and territories". Statistics Canada. December 17, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2015.