By Zachary Baru
For all those who are sick of hearing that Springfield is a bad sports market, check out what the nation's leading sports business media outlet has to say about our market. In an article released last month by SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily, Springfield was ranked fifth in the country's top minor league markets. The biennial ranking looked at 225 communities, more than 400 teams, and close to 50 leagues to determine the top markets.
SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily expressed Springfield's attendance gains from last season during a time of decline in the local economy as the reason for the high ranking. According to the ranking, during a period of job loss and population decline, combined attendance at Falcons and Armor games was up 42 percent last season compared to five years ago. This increase was the largest increase in the magazine's study.
Springfield was the only New England market to make the top ten of the rankings, with Toledo, Ohio topping all markets. Hartford-New Britain finished 38th.
Although this is not a reason to celebrate, and say that there is no longer an attendance problem at Springfield sporting events, it reminds us that Springfield does have some accomplishments to be proud of. No, it is not all negative news about Springfield and their support of their teams. Let's hope the trend continues, and Springfield proves once again the potential this small market has.
Source: SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily
Zach Baru can be followed @zbaru and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.