Richard Florida is a co-founder and editor at large of CityLab and a senior editor at The Atlantic. He is a university professor in the University of Toronto’s School of Cities and Rotman School of Management, and a distinguished fellow at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.
Despite the success of this season, the city has a ways to go before joining the superstar ranks of Boston or Green Bay.
If the San Francisco 49ers beat the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, the City by the Bay would become the latest city to win national titles for both football and baseball in a single season. As The Associated Press reports (via The Huffington Post):
San Francisco is trying to become the first market to win a World Series and Super Bowl in the same season since the Boston Red Sox accomplished it in 2004 and the New England Patriots followed suit in February 2005.
But how does San Francisco stack up in terms of pro sports championships overall?
To get this, UCLA's Patrick Adler updated his original analysis (I wrote about it on Cities a year ago) which examines how United States and Canada metros stack up in terms of pro sports championships. Adler's analysis covers the four major professional sports — football, baseball, basketball, and hockey — and tracks total championships by metro since these leagues began. The Martin Prosperity Institute's Zara Matheson mapped Adler's updated data.
The first map (above) shows total pro sports championships by metro. New York tops the list with 60 total championships, and Boston takes second place with 33. San Francisco, one of the two Super Bowl contenders, is pretty far behind, in seventh place with 18 titles. Baltimore takes 12th place with nine championships.
In his original analysis, Adler also calculated a new metric — a "Championship Location Quotient" or CLQ — to gauge the rate of championships in light of varying metro populations. It is based on a location quotient which compares a metro's relative share of the major league home population with its relative share of championships. A ratio of 1.0 means a metro's share is exactly in line with the pattern for all major league cities. It's worth pointing out that our championship location quotient measure will be more skewed than a traditional location quotient since it considers only 47 of some 350-plus metro areas. The second map below charts the pattern.
Green Bay tops the list with a staggering CLQ of 22, meaning the metro has won 22 times the number of championships (all of them in football) than its size would predict. Boston is again second with a CLQ of three. Both San Francisco and Baltimore have won more championships than their predicted share. San Francisco takes eighth place with a CLQ of 1.7, while Baltimore is 10th with a CLQ of 1.4.
San Francisco's teams have certainly done well recently, but not too much better than Baltimore over time.
* Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified Charlotte, not Raleigh, as the winner of North Carolina's single title.