Ken Medlin

Packers crush the "Small Market Myth"

Posted February 7, 2011

There was something different about Super Bowl XLV, and the Triangle should take notice.

It wasn’t that the game was being played in the Cowboys' new stadium, or that 111 million people watched it on television. And it wasn’t that the two teams involved are among the most storied franchises in professional sports.

No, the nugget of information that boggles my mind is this: The Super Bowl champions are based in a city smaller than Cary.

Seriously, Green Bay’s population is listed at 101,412, while Cary’s checks in at a much more robust 137,483.

Obviously, the NFL's revenue-sharing business model makes it possible for a truly small-market franchise to flourish. But it does make you wonder...

How about expanding WakeMed Soccer Park a bit? I mean, if Green Bay can do it... Come on, Cary. Get to work!

On a much more serious note, the conventional wisdom has always been that Raleigh will never get an NFL team because: 1) The area's too small and, 2) The Panthers are right next door.

Yet, the Packers' success in the nation's 71st-largest television market crushes the "small market" myth. By comparison, the Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville TV market is now ranked #25 by Nielsen. That's bigger than other, seemingly-larger markets with multiple pro sports teams -- Baltimore, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Kansas City and Nashville to name a few. So scratch the "too-small" problem off the Triangle's list.

So what about proximity? We're waaaaaaay to close to Charlotte, right? Well... A quick check with our friend Mapquest shows the shortest route from Raleigh to Charlotte as 2 hours, 51 minutes, or 140 miles.  (The US 64-NC 49 route is shorter "as the crow flies," but I-40/I-85 rates quicker on the clock. I always take the Interstates, but that's me...)

The distance from Green Bay to its nearest NFL neighbor, Chicago, checks in at 2:48, or 155 miles. Fifteen miles would be a big difference if we're using the old "horseshoes and hand grenades" analogy, but for this discussion those fifteen miles might as well equal zero.

The point is, the old arguments no longer hold water. Raleigh's not "too small" a market, and it's not "too close" to Charlotte for an NFL franchise. In the end, there are other reasons that will prevent the NFL from landing in our back yard. Simply put, there are other markets ahead of us in that line id the NFL ever does decide to expand again: LA and Portland are bigger, San Antonio already has a stadium, and there's always Toronto, London and Mexico City if the NFL wants to go International.

But hey, we can always dream. Right?



2 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • VT1994Hokie Feb 8, 2011

    It's called Tradition. It doesn't matter. These people live for the Packers. That's their own identity.

  • bigoldbillybob Feb 8, 2011

    Wait a minute... NC can't really support one NFL franchise and you're going to argue that it could support two? Ha!

  • NHL Playoffs: Teams TBD

    Saturday at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Kentucky Derby

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL Playoffs: Teams TBD

    Saturday at 7:15 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MLB: LA Dodgers vs. Toronto

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • Kentucky Derby

    Saturday at 5:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NASL: RailHawks vs. Ft. Lauderdale

    Saturday at 7:30 pm on 1550 The Ticket

Zurich Classic (PGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1B. Stuard - z-15F
2tB. An - y-15F
2tJ. Lovemark - y-15F
4B. Wyatt-14F
5tC. Kirk-13F
5tJ. Day-13F
5tJ. Vegas-13F
8tB. Molder-11F
8tP. Kizzire-11F
8tH. Varner III-11F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
Texas LPGA (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1J. Shin-14F
2tM. Hur-12F
2tG. Piller-12F
2tA. Yang-12F
5S. Feng-10F
6A. Jutanugarn-8F
7tN. Choi-7F
7tE. Ji-7F
7tS. Kim-7F
10tK. Icher-6F
View Full Leaderboard
 
Volvo China Open (EURO)
PosNameScoreThru
1H. Li-22F
2F. Aguilar-19F
3tL. Bjerregaard-18F
3tR. Bland-18F
3tM. Siem-18F
6tP. Hanson-17F
6tS. Hend-17F
6tR. Ramsay-17F
9tD. Lipsky-16F
9tA. Noren-16F
View Full Leaderboard
 
ATP Scoreboard
Monday, May 2
(ATP/WTA)
First Round
(16) G. Simon6 3 6   
M. Baghdatis3 6 4   
L. Mayer65 6 4   
F. Lopez77 4 6   
(11) M. Raonic77 6    
T. Bellucci64 1    
V. Troicki4 4    
A. Kuznetsov6 6    
(10) R. Gasquet6 77    
R. Carballes 1 65    
D. Istomin6 6    
T. Gabashvili1 4    
(12) D. Goffin64 6 67   
L. Pouille77 2 79   
N. Mahut4 4    
J. Sousa6 6    
R. Stepanek6 64 6   
V. Pospisil1 77 4   
P. Herbert77 65 4   
S. Querrey65 77 6   
(9) D. Ferrer3 6 6   
G. Garcia-Lop6 1 2   
 
WTA Scoreboard
Monday, May 2
(ATP/WTA)
Second Round
(13) K. Pliskova63 4    
C. McHale77 6    
(16) S. Stephens2 3    
P. Tig6 6    
(12) E. Svitolina2 64    
D. Gavrilova6 77    
(5) P. Kvitova6 6    
E. Vesnina3 3    
(4) V. Azarenka6 6    
A. Cornet3 2    
M. Keys6 6    
B. Strycova3 3    
(14) A. Ivanovic7 1 3   
L. Chirico5 6 6   
(3) G. Muguruza7 64 3   
I. Begu5 77 6