banner
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

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Hokies94 Feb 8, 8:12 p.m.

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

  • bigoldbillybob Feb 8, 11:27 a.m.

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

  • NFL: Detroit at Atlanta

    Tomorrow at 9:30 am on FOX50

  • NFL: Seattle at Carolina

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Indianapolis at Pittsburgh

    Tomorrow at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • World Series: Kansas City at San Francisco

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on FOX50

  • NFL: Detroit at Atlanta

    Tomorrow at 9:30 am on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • World Series: Kansas City at San Francisco

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Green Bay at New Orleans

    Tomorrow at 8:25 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
 
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
4th
BST 35
AKR 21
 
4th
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
 
4th
TOL 35
UMASS 35
 
4th
WMICH 42
OHIO 14
 
4th
COL 28
UCLA 31
 
4th
UMO 10
KSU 3
 
3rd
WAKE 0
BC 17
 
3rd
BUF 7
CMICH 14
 
Half
MARS 14
FATL 16
 
Half
PITT 14
GT 28
 
3rd
SMISS 7
LATU 3
 
3rd
MSU 14
MICH 3
 
Half
KENT 10
MSST 17
 
Half
STAN 28
ORST 7
 
2nd
TCU 34
TTU 20
 
Half
OKST 10
WVU 14
 
2nd
WKENT 35
ODU 23
 
2nd
UTST 17
UNLV 7
 
2nd
MIZZ 10
VANDY 0
 
1st
UCF 10
TEMPL 0
 
6:00pm Tonight
WASU
ARZ
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
LAMON
TXST
7:00pm Tonight
TXSANANTO
UTEP
7:00pm Tonight
COLST
WYO
7:15pm Tonight
LSU
MISS
7:30pm Tonight
TENN
ALA
7:30pm Tonight
AUB
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
2nd
SJS 0
BUF 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
DET
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
NJD
7:00pm Tonight
MON
NYR
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14