Sunday, June 17, 2012

Is OKC on the Radar Now for MLS?

OKC is a one-horse town among the five major team spectator sports in the U.S.  Of the NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB and MLS, they play only in the NBA.

There are only a few metro areas in the U.S. currently playing as one-horse towns.  

One team is the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL, which resides in Raleigh.  Another is the Jacksonville Jaguars from the NFL.

The others are from the NBA; the Orlando Magic, the San Antonio Spurs, the Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings.

(Green Bay is an exception as the smallest metro area in the U.S. of all leagues to field a team-the Packers of the NFL.  In many ways, GB is not considered a sizable enough metro area to support another team.  They have a special history accommodating an NFL team that is unique compared to any other professional team from any other city or metro area.)

Portland and Salk Lake City are the two cities from the NBA that have added one more spectator sport in MLS for a total of two major league sports teams.

San Jose, Vancouver, Montreal and Columbus are four other cities with an MLS team and two major league sports teams, the other in the NHL.  

The support the fans of the Thunder have shown towards their only 'big five' team has been outstanding and relentless.  MLS execs must be sending their folks for some research studies to evaluate the viability of a second 'big five' team entering the market.  

Interestingly, the Oklahoma market may be an excellent choice for MLS, but OKC may not be the top choice.  The Tulsa Roughnecks have some excellent pro Soccer history from the NASL.  

Tulsa could be that one city, like an OKC, to enthusiastically embrace a pro sport with all the attention that comes from being a one-horse town.  Currently, Tulsa is like a king of minor league sports.

MLS has only been the first franchise in a city one time, in Columbus.    

For other reads on MLS expansion, see What Sacramento's Fight for its Kings Means for MLS and MLS More than Halfway to 36 Teams.


  1. If the league wants to make $ from selling ***MLS*** (and not Euro tours and the SUM-FMF deal) then OKC is way too small. Here's an analysis of markets, and the type and quantity of teams/leagues they can support:

    MLS in OKC would be "marginal." Basically they'd have to be as good as the Thunder to have a *chance* to not lose money.

  2. Funny to see the link posted above.

    It shows Tulsa able to support every major league team except MLB, but Oklahoma City barely able to support MLS. What this list doesn't take into consideration is that if Oklahoma City or Tulsa got any major league team, it would more than likely be supported by the other city as well (take the Thunder for instance). Oklahoma City has an NBA that is one of the most supported NBA teams in the league.

    What's also funny about this list that Phoenix, AZ has every major league team accept MLS, and the list states that it can't support any major team.

    So how far can we trust this list?