Top Minor League Markets: Rankings through the years

SportsBusiness Journal this week spotlights Toledo, Ohio, for taking the No. 1 slot in our 2013 study of the country’s Top Minor League Markets.

This is the fifth time SBJ has produced a Top Minor League Markets ranking, and the markets we’ve researched have seen their ranking fortunes rise and fall through the history of our survey. That includes Toledo, which was No. 9 in our first survey in 2005, fell to No. 77 in our 2007 study, but rose all the way back up to No. 1 this year. Following is a look at the top 10 from each year’s survey and where those respective markets fall in the 2013 ranking.

2013 2011
Rank
Market
Rank Market (2013 rank)
1 Toledo, Ohio  1 Hershey-Harrisburg, Pa. (3)
2
Rochester, N.Y.  2 San Bernardino County, Calif. (4)
3
Hershey-Harrisburg, Pa.  3 Providence-Pawtucket, R.I. (12)
4
San Bernardino County, Calif.  4 Reading, Pa. (34)
5
Springfield, Mass.  5 Portland, Maine (13)
6
Syracuse, N.Y.  6 Syracuse, N.Y. (6)
7
Fort Wayne, Ind.  7 Charleston, S.C. (11)
8
Des Moines, Iowa  8 Modesto, Calif. (14)
9
Spokane, Wash.  9 Idaho Falls, Idaho (19)
10
Sioux Falls, S.D. 10 Spokane, Wash. (9)

2009
2007
Rank
Market (2013 rank)
Rank Market (2013 rank)
1
Hershey-Harrisburg, Pa. (3)  1 Fort Wayne, Ind. (7)
2
Fort Wayne, Ind. (7)  2 Hershey-Harrisburg, Pa. (3)
3
Tulsa, Okla. (NA)  3 Oklahoma City (NA)
4
Billings, Mont. (129)  4 Rochester, N.Y. (2)
5
Spokane, Wash. (9)  5 Reading, Pa. (34)
6
Peoria, Ill. (55)  6 Quad Cities, Ill.-Iowa (48)
7
San Bernardino County, Calif. (4)  7 Boise, Idaho (116)
8
Bossier City-Shreveport, La. (228)  8 Tulsa, Okla. (NA)
9
Idaho Falls, Idaho (19)  9 Sioux Falls, S.D. (10)
10 Rochester, N.Y. (2) 10 Stockton, Calif. (186)

2005
 
Rank
Market (2013 rank)
1
Rochester, N.Y. (2) 
2
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (159) 
3
Hershey-Harrisburg, Pa. (3) 
4
Providence-Pawtucket, R.I. (12) 
5
San Bernardino County, Calif. (4) 
6
Oklahoma City (NA) 
7
Fort Wayne, Ind. (7) 
8
Dayton, Ohio (32) 
9
Toledo, Ohio (1) 
10
Fresno, Calif. (222) 

NA: Not applicable. Market is no longer eligible for ranking as a minor league market because it now hosts a major league club: Oklahoma City with the NBA Thunder, and Tulsa with the WNBA Shock.
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IBL, NBA, WNBA

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