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City standings: 1979-2004

9/1/2004

Which city can claim to be the city of champions during the ESPN era?

We added up all the wins and losses across the four major pro sports from the past 25 seasons and ranked the 36 North American cities with at least two franchises based upon overall winning percentage.

Peruse the rankings below as well the overall sport-by-sport rankings. Also, check out the highs and lows of some of the cities.

Key: Overall Win Pct. = combined winning percentage of all franchises in city; Team years = total number of team seasons played over the 25-year span; Finals = number of Super Bowls, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals reached; Titles = number of championships won; Make playoffs % = Percentage of seasons in which franchises reached the playoffs.

Notes:

  • Seasons considered:

    * NFL: 1979 through 2003
    * MLB: 1979 through 2003
    * NBA: 1979-80 through 2003-04
    * NHL: 1979-80 through 2003-04

  • Some rankings under the various sports include more than one franchise. This includes cities with two teams in one sport (such as the Cubs and White for Chicago or Giants and Jets for New York) or cities with two different franchises in the same sport (such as the Colts and Ravens for Baltimore).

  • Methodology: First, the winning percentage for each franchise within a city was determined (for NHL teams, the winning percentage was considered as the number of points earned out of the total possible points); then, the average winning percentage is weighted by factoring in the number of overall "team seasons" for a franchise. For example, Denver has 70 team seasons -- 25 each for the Broncos and Nuggets, 11 for the Rockies and nine for the Avalanche. An overall city winning percentage is then calculated.