Do Sports Make a City an "IT" city?

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by aqib, Oct 21, 2013.

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  1. aqib

    aqib Registered User

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  2. Ryan34222

    Ryan34222 Registered User

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    I think so. Hamiltons not viewed as an "it" town. Winnipeg has a it thing going for them. One would have to only assume it's due to the old NHL team and the second franchise.
     
  3. Branden

    Branden Registered User

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    how is "it" being used in this circumstance?
     
  4. aqib

    aqib Registered User

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    awwww If it helps, I think Hamilton is cool.
     
  5. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Like in pop culture essentially. Origins being "The it girl". A model/actress/singer. Every generation has them. This "it" however isnt being applied in the same pop culture transitory sense. Its not a flavor of the month or season, year or decade. It supposedly transcends that with respect to Nashville specifically which I would argue was already an "it city" as in Country Music City USA long before the arrival of the Preds & Titans. Honestly I think the term ridiculous as virtually every single city in the US & Canada, anywhere in the world really has something unique about it and could be considered an "it" city or town based on whatever that might be. Its just a sort of sexed up hyperbolic semi-descriptive adjective. Pro sports teams would certainly serve to reinforce that label and should build on whatever "it" is thats unique about its home to begin with.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  6. Fugu

    Fugu Administrator

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    Another way to look at it would be akin to the Little Brother Syndrome. There are certain things that are synonymous with the massive cities/markets, cities known the world over as having everything--- pro sports teams, theater, concerts, fine dining, shopping, etc. You start with NYC as king of that particular hill and then go down from there.

    While Nashville has made a name for itself in the music industry, it probably cannot match the BIG cities' IT otherwise. The presence of a pro sports team is an attempt to show that it's not one-dimensional and almost on the same playing field as the Big Boys.
     
  7. No Fun Shogun

    No Fun Shogun 34-38-61-10-13-15

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    I suppose. I remember way, way, way back when I was in a contemporary American history class in high school, one section of our reading had to do with the relocation of a few MLB franchises in the 1950s and 1960s (using it as a way to highlight the shift in population southward and westward during this time). Most prominently, it posited that the relocation of the Boston Braves to Milwaukee provided a huge boost for that city's psyche, helped it discard their little brother mentality for how they looked at themselves compared to Chicago, and was even used as a rationale for why they should invest more in their infrastructure and public works (a Big League city needs a Big League library). Not to mention the simultaneous move of the Dodgers and Giants to California and the eventual move of the Braves from Milwaukee to Atlanta.

    In short, don't think you're viewed at as a major American city/metropolitan area unless you have a major league sports team, preferably the NFL or the MLB. And I do think that there's a certain intangible sense of civic pride that a community has in their team, whether that be pro or major collegiate, that is lacking in towns without a team.
     
  8. Doan Jidion*

    Doan Jidion* Guest

    The idea that a vector of American music culture was not a legitimate city until it received a middling professional football team is almost offensively dumb.
     
  9. FuriousSenator

    FuriousSenator Registered User

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    Totally agree that sports make a city.

    Reason being that pro sports is largely a spectacle. Cities often define themselves (well the non-sleepy ones anyways) by their ability to host the spectacular.

    Pro sports is unique in that it offers the spectacular on a predictable, scheduled, frequent basis. People want to be there, they want to be involved, and they want to experience it, and best of all, it happens every Sunday.

    I lived in Ottawa my whole life growing up, and that city is often considered the most boring major city in Canada. Why? Not enough 'spectacular'. The only time I remember being even vaguely proud from a civic perspective was when the Senators made it to the 07 final.

    Pro sports bring pride, prestige, excitement, and most of all consistent 'spectacular' to a city.

    It forces people from other places to think about your city. No offence, but I literally never give Hamilton a thought outside of when the Tiger-Cats are playing..and then I think about it a lot. I would probably never in a million years visit Hamilton willingly...except wait, they have that CFL franchise? Sweet maybe I'll pop in one day and check it out, go to a game, buy some stuff.
     
  10. NJDevils7

    NJDevils7 Registered User

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    I'm sure there are a lot of people who don't care...but we are all sports fans so we care. I wouldn't want to move to a city without at least 1 pro sports team.
     
  11. sparkle twin

    sparkle twin Hi.

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    I have a pretty long answer I could give about all the amazing new things that have happened since the teams arrived, but I don't have the time right now so I'll just say this: The short answer is that FOR NASHVILLE, the Predators and Titans helped spur the clean up and revitalization of downtown Nashville to what it is today, an "It" city. They are not the sole reason, but their presence as major league million dollar entities kick started everything. Building upon their success and the growth of the city has made it an "it" city. I think the fact that the teams were expansion/relocation teams was a big part of it. It was new and exciting and made people come back downtown. And as people came back downtown they also needed other things to do, places to go or eat. And as the teams succeeded, more businesses opened and more tax incentives were created to bring even more businesses and people to town. I don't think the growth or "it" factor would be the same if these teams had been here 30-50 years. And I can say that without either team, there is no way we would be considered and "It" city today in 2013. We might not even have half of what we do today if not for the new teams. Plus having city leadership with a vision for the future helps.
     
  12. fulmine

    fulmine Original 32 Fan

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    Good topic. Having a pro team definitely affects the city's psyche and indicates 'major league' status. I use Houston as an example and lived there when the NFL Oilers relocated to Memphis before ending up in Nashville. Many people in the city were crushed and interpreted Adams turning his back on the city as a symbol of the decline of the city.

    Once the Texans were announced as a new franchise it was like a huge stamp of approval that once again put Houston back as a major tier city.

    I look at Austin now, with the major growth that is occurring there. Many people don't know much about this city, but when a team in any sports league is eventually formed there or relocated there (which is bound to happen in the next 10 years), Austin will be classified in many people's eyes as a big league city.
     
  13. Bongo

    Bongo Registered User

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    "It" hasn't done much for Detroit.
     
  14. cutchemist42

    cutchemist42 Registered User

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    I think the effect is over-rated, and really when compared to other businesses in the city a sports team is at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of size and spinoff effects.

    If there was someone who only knew of cities with sports teams and assumed they were it, I would tell them they need to get out more. The cheesily branded Titans did nothing to change my opinion of Nashville before they came, I still thought of Nashville as a destination city for its own unique history in the example of the OP. I'd rather go to Austin, Texas for many other events that aren't sport related. (Texas football is big though, and their atttacting F1 was a shock to me still)

    I guess for me, it's just another little event to see in most cities that could be probably replaced by something else if I were to visit.

    As a slight aside, I hate when infratructure/major cleanups of a city can only be marketed to the voting public if attached to sports. If a city needs new roads, it needs new roads whether its connected to sports or not. You see this happen everywhere though that I guess politicians have figured out this tool to work the public.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  15. Shawa666

    Shawa666 Registered User

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  16. TieClark

    TieClark Registered User

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    If you're sensitive then perhaps, but it doesn't make it untrue.
     
  17. No Fun Shogun

    No Fun Shogun 34-38-61-10-13-15

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    Actually, I'd think that the rallying aspect that Detroit's teams have on the community's psyche has been one of the few things going for that city positively over the last few years. The Wings, Tigers, and especially the Lions have been absolutely huge sources of community pride and unity for a city where that's sorely needed.

    If any of those teams ever left, no doubt that it's be a huge gut check to the community.
     
  18. Swarez

    Swarez Registered User

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    It city to who?
    50% of the guys I know don't really follow sports.
    75% of the woman I know don't really follow sports.

    It's nice for cities to have teams, especially Hockey in Canada, Football in the states.
    Much of Ohio is in a financial mess, huge cuts, with massive debt loads from stadiums, are they IT cities because of this despite them cutting education, fire and other infrastructure?
     
  19. cutchemist42

    cutchemist42 Registered User

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    I guess in a way its situational and all depends on what was already going on in a city. I mean, we could all think of cities who's good reps/reason-for-being-it would not suffer from no sports team. Just quickly thinking off the top of my head, not extensive....

    -Miami
    -Vancouver
    -Austin
    -Washington
    -Montreal
    -Bay area and Northern Cali
    -LV
    -NYC
    -Boston
    -New Orleans
     
  20. Doan Jidion*

    Doan Jidion* Guest

    So is Las Vegas nothing without major pro sports?
     
  21. etr102

    etr102 Registered User

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    I agree. Detroit has Live Theatre, Fine Dining and just about everything else mentioned above plus teams in all 4 of the big leagues. Teams that have experienced a lot of success over their history (except for the Lions). But Detroit is far from an 'it' city. Maybe back in 50s and early 60s it was, but certainly not now.

    On the other hand, Vancouver has what I would call 1.5 Pro Sports teams (sorry, the CFL isn't on par with the big 4). I would certainly consider Vancouver to be an 'it' city.
     
  22. Betamax*

    Betamax* Guest

    Uh ... but ... it may not have any of the major league Team Sports but there is one thing it does have over every other city:

    It's the fight capital of the world.

    Most of the "Major" Boxing Events involving the big names in the past and present i.e. "Money" Mayweather or Pac-Man etc.. take place in that city.

    Let's not also forget it's also the home base of the UFC and most of its marquee fight cards are held in that city.

    The sports wagering aspect of the City makes it a hub for sports fan to congrugate ... I mean if you're actually going to the city where the Super Bowl is being hosted in, being in Las Vegas is probably the next big thing to get the buzz of the event.
     
  23. scotchex

    scotchex Registered User

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    Sport are just one factor among many. Vegas obviously has a unique high-profile role in America. Nashville had a unique role as the center of country music long before it had big time pro sports.

    But pro sports clearly add to the national and international reputation of a city.

    Take North Carolina. NC has 3 main metro areas: Charlotte, the Triangle (Raleigh-Durham area), and the Triad (Greensboro-Winston Salem area).

    They all are roughly the same size, but nationally Charlotte and Raleigh are much, much better known than Greensboro.
     
  24. scotchex

    scotchex Registered User

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    Pro sports are just another amenity that attracts people and business to a metro area. There's no amenity that attracts everybody equally. That's why cities try to have a broad array of amenities to appeal to a wide swath of people and companies.

    City leaders are almost always gonna want to have big time pro sports. Just like they almost always want great universities, and hospitals, and parks, and vibrant industries, and an exciting night life district, and good schools, and museums, and live theater, and good highways, and a convenient airport, etc, etc, etc.

    Every metro is competing with all the other metros for people and businesses. On the margin, every amenity helps. The question is always whether it's worth the cost.
     
  25. Tawnos

    Tawnos A guy with a bass

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    To be fair, Charlotte is/was the economic engine of the region for most of the 20th century while Raleigh is the state capital and home to two of the better universities on the east coast. Even without professional sports, they would be well known. Charlotte is the 2nd largest financial center in the country. Plus, the largest actual city in the Triad, being Greensboro, has less than 300k in population. It's hard for people to recognize a large metro area when there isn't a large city to focus on.

    On topic, I do think that pro sports does add to the prestige of a city, but isn't required. Nashville would be known as a music hub without the Titans and the Predators. Austin and Vegas and Charleston, SC are good examples of high profile cities without major sports (yes, I get the boxing example, but I'm talking about sports that have an effect on things like city infrastructure).
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013

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