metropolitan region (population 2.3 million) is the 22nd largest metro area in
the country and is the largest in the nation without a Major League Baseball
franchise. Portland is by far the largest metro area in the nation with only
one major professional sports franchise; the region's ratio of population to
professional sports franchises is behind only New York and Los Angeles. The
Sports Business Journal recently ranked the Portland area
the third-most-appealing market in the country for
a new pro sports franchise, following Los Angeles (NFL) and Philadelphia (MLS).
Respected baseball writer Rob Neyer of ESPN.com recently examined
Portland's potential as a future MLB market. In an analysis of successful MLB
markets, Neyer concluded that
Portland is a viable home for MLB and "could settle right in
with cities like Denver, St. Louis, Cleveland, and San Diego."
For comparison purposes, Portland's population and corporate base
is equivalent to the Denver area when it acquired its fourth professional
sports franchise. With nearly $40 billion in Effective Buying Income, Portland
has one of the highest amounts of disposable income per professional sports
franchise in the nation. Further, Portland's Per Capita Income ranks higher
than 12 existing MLB markets.
Wondering about the corporate base? The
Portland area is home to 355 companies with at least 250 employees; Denver had
340 when it acquired the Colorado Rockies. Portland has
41 companies with at least 1,500 employees and
53 area businesses each generated revenues in
excess of $100 million during 2001. The region has become the global hub
for the athletic footwear and apparel industry, while maintaining its status as
a diversified economic anchor of the West Coast.
named the most livable city in the nation by Money magazine, is also the
seventh fastest growing metro area in the country with a growth rate double
that of the Washington D.C. area.
Still not convinced? Check out
Oregon's passion for MLB.