Safe at What Home: What City Without a Baseball Franchise Would be Best Able to Support one?


According to the Scarborough Study, Hartford, Connecticut had the most avid baseball fans of all the cities without a Major League Baseball franchise.  In comparing the study's findings to the Hartfore region, we see in the map of males in the Hartford area that Hartford does not have a high male population, but neither do Boston or New York.  Both of these cities have have long supported their baseball franchises.  Yet, in looking at map of married persons in the Hartford area we do see that Hartford does have a relatively high population of married persons.  This corresponds to the Scarborough Study's finding that most Major League Baseball fans are married (58%).  

Aside from the study, I thought of some other important demographics that I believe Major League Baseball should consider in the location of baseball teams.

18-29 year olds:

A map of the continental United States showing 18-29 year olds , normalized by area using ten "natural breaks," shows that the Hartford area in southern New England has a relatively high population when compared to the rest of the country.  Another map of the Southern New England region confirms our suspicions.  Notice how Hartford has a relatively large population of 18-29 year olds and it sits between two even higher concentrations in the Boston and New York areas.  This map of 18-29 year olds in the Hartford area zooms in on this relationship between the three cities.  Due to its relatively high population and the fact it sits between two very high populations of 18-29 year olds, I believe major league baseball would be wise to consider Hartford as a possible location for a Major League Baseball franchise.


Current and desired demographics may well include Hispanics, who are well represented among Major League Baseball players.  This high percentage is a result of the game's immense popularity in the Caribbean nations, Mexico and Venezuela.  Although I have not observed any evidence concerning the level of baseball fandom for Hispanics, due to the high percentage of Hispanic players in Major League Baseball, I believe their demongraphics should be considered when analyzing the validity of a franchise.  Here is a map of the Hispanic population normalized by area in Southern New England and the Mid-Atlantic regions .  Notice how Hartford, like the Washington, D.C. area, has a relatively high Hispanic population, especially in comparison to other baseball markets, notably Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland.


Since baseball is very popular in Japan, and due to the recent influx of Japanese players into the Major Leagues, I believe it is wise to consider Asian demongraphics.  As one can see from this map of the Asian population in the continental U.S. , Hartford is very close to a large concentration of Asians in the New York City region.  By zooming in on the Northeast, we see through this map that Hartford's population, when normalized by square miles, has a higher Asian population within its specific county than all of the other cities with baseball franchises in that region.  These maps certainly make a strong case for Hartford to have a baseball team if one is valuing the Asian demongraphics.


Although I have not located any statistics to support my claim, I believe that baseball has fallen behind basketball and football with regard to the average African-American sports fan.  A strong reason may relate to the fact that football and basketball have a greater percentage of black players than does baseball.  In looking at the Northeast part of the country, it is clear from our map of the black population that Hartford does not possess as large a black population as the other cities with baseball franchises.  If one values the African-American demographic with regards to the survival of a Major League Baseball franchise, one would probably not support a decision to place a team in Hartford.