Dallas Is Ranked the No. 1 Best Sports Business City in the U.S.

"Dallas is clearly the star," says Sports Business Journal in its new ranking of the Top 50 Best Sports Business Cities.

Complexity Gaming

“Dallas is clearly the star,” says Sports Business Journal in its new ranking of the Top 50 Best Sports Business Cities. 

To arrive at the list, SBJ “crunched the numbers for seven months, analyzing nearly half a million bits of data across 377 markets that are the home of at least one professional or Division I college athletic program, or a permanent event.” Its research team created an algorithm that looked at both quantitative and qualitative data, as well as interviews and analysis from “nearly 100 industry veterans.”

Rounding out the Top 10 best sports business cities, SBJ ranked these cities from No. 2 to No. 10: New York, Charlotte, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, and Phoenix

So what put Dallas (and its wider local market including Fort Worth, Arlington, and Frisco) on top?

Sports-related Relocations

PGA Frisco’s “social staircase.” [Photo: PGA of America]

First, major relocations to the Dallas area. The SBJ cited the  PGA of America moving its headquarters from Florida to a $33.5 million new HQ in Frisco as part of its $550 million campus development; Professional Bull Riders moving its World Finals to Fort Worth’s Dickies Arena after three decades in Las Vegas; and the ATP tennis tour moving the New York Open to Dallas in 2021. From Topgolf to Warstick Bat Company to the Perfect Game baseball scouting organization, sports businesses and organizations have decamped from cities across the U.S. to make their homes in the Dallas area.

26 sports properties

AT&T Stadium [Photo: AT&T]

“Dallas is home to properties in each of the major league team sports, several college bowl games, recent FIFA qualifiers and rates highly in most attendance metrics,” the SBJ said. As Dallas Innovates wrote recently, North Texas is also home to cutting-edge examples of The Future of Sports, with everything from teqball to the new women’s Pro Volleyball Federation to the announcement just today of the newly named Texas Super Kings of Major League Cricket.

Fans Galore

Seats get filled fast for sports events across DFW, the SBJ says. “31.8M fans attended Dallas-area major/minor league and Division I college sporting events over the past five years,” it noted.

64 sponsors, top-rated sports venues, and more

The report also cites the 64 brands in the Dallas area that have “at least four sports sponsorships, a naming-rights deal, and/or a major league jersey patch deal” and showplaces like AT&T Stadium and the Texas Rangers’ new Globe Life Field “that topped all markets in venue score.”

The SBJ also cited Dallas-Fort Worth’s “business-friendly” environment and its world-leading hotel construction featuring 173 projects and 20,707 rooms. 

One unnamed sports business told SBJ of its move to Dallas: “We relocated our business specifically because: 1) significant number of major events including owner and league meetings; 2) exceptional talent pool at a more affordable cost; 3) business-friendly state; 4) quality of life for our team (most can afford to buy homes here); 5) geographically central with a big airport.” 

To see SBJ’s full list of Best Sports Business Cities, you can go here.

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