There are many incredible organizations, players, and cultures in sport, but have you as a sports fan ever wondered how your city as a whole stacks up against the rest? Or maybe you have noticed that some cities dominate across all major sports, and some cities fail to ever rise to the surface. Well, we have compiled here a list of the most and least winningest cities since 1960. Why 1960 you ask? Well, upon a few considerations, it seemed to make the most sense. The Super Bowl wasn’t introduced until 1966 when the NFL and AFL merged together, the NBA wouldn’t merge until the mid-seventies, but the Bill Russell titles of the ’60s had to be incorporated for an honest result. The NHL would expand to twelve teams in 1967, and the MLB would also expand from twelve to eighteen teams in 1961.
It is important first off, to lay down a few ground rules for how this list was compiled. First of all, in order to qualify, a city must have (or have had) at least two teams across the four major sports (NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL) since 1960. For example, we are well aware that the Green Bay Packers have won 13 championships, however they are the only team to reside in Green Bay and although many may link them with Milwaukee, they are Green Bay’s team and thus do not qualify. Something else to keep in mind is relocation. Although franchises move from time to time (for example the Los Angeles Raiders to the Oakland Raiders), the Raiders championship in 1984 belongs to Los Angeles, as the team still resided there at the time.
8. Most: Dallas/Miami
To begin our list, we have a tie for eighth in terms of the most winningest cities, as both Dallas and Miami come in with seven championships to their name. Both cities have been able to please multiple fan bases, as they have each captured at least one title across three different leagues.
The Dallas Cowboys have won a total of five Super Bowls since 1960 and the Miami Dolphins, two. On the hardwood, the Miami Heat have collected three championship rings, and the Dallas Mavericks one, actually defeating Miami themselves in 2011. The Miami Marlins (as the Florida Marlins) collected a World Series title in both 1997 as well as 2003, and the Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup on Brett Hulls infamous foot-in-crease goal in 1999.
7. Least: Milwaukee
Both the Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers came into existence in the late 1960s, so in their defense, they are one of the more youthful sports cities in America. The Bucks spent six magical seasons hosting Kareem-Abdul Jabaar and were able to win an NBA title in 1971, but that’s all the success that the city has seen since then. The Brewers lost their lone World Series appearance in 1982 and lost the NLCS to the Cardinals in 2011. Outside of that, they have failed to deliver any success to the city of Milwaukee over 48 seasons of play. Fans in Milwaukee have been sitting back and waiting for something for nearly have a century and we have to conclude that the fan base of that city are growing tired of waiting for success.
7. Most: Oakland/San Francisco
When we compiled our list of championships, we counted San Francisco and Oakland separately despite Oakland being a part of the Bay Area. They however have separate teams, stadiums, and identities and also both happened to have raked in eight championships a piece.
In Oakland we can tally up two titles for the Golden State Warriors, four for the Oakland Athletics, and two more for the Oakland Raiders. Over in San Francisco, the 49ers have compiled five Super Bowl championships and the Giants have won three World Series, all since 2010 (2010, 2012, 2014). Even with just two professional franchises, San Francisco seems to have figured out how to get it done when it matters the most, as they have more championships than cities such as Washington, Philadelphia, Dallas, Cleveland, and Minnesota, who have franchises in all four major sports.
6. Least: Minnesota
The city of Minnesota has little excuse for their lack of success, as they have had a team in every professional league for at least twenty 27 years, their youngest being the Timber Wolves who formed in 1989. Sure they missed a few years on the ice when the North Stars moved to Dallas, but hockey resided in Minnesota from 1967-1993, and was recaptured with the birth of the Wild in 2000- still finding little success.
The Twins are the only team to have captured a championship for their city, winning the World Series in both 1987 and 1991 and keeping the Twins away from the top of this list. Painfully enough, the “North Stars” would actually win a Stanley Cup in 1999, but it would come after their move to Dallas.
6. Most: Detroit
If it were not for sports in Detroit, who knows where this historic American city would be in 2016. Since the city declared bankruptcy in 2013, Detroit has become nothing more than a devastated landscape on the brink of complete decay with a current population of 714,000. Franchises such as the Pistons, Red Wings, Tigers, and Lions have given something for the people of Detroit to cheer about- something to make life feel a little more normal.
Detroit has an excellent history of winning since 1960, stemming all the way back to the Tigers World Series Championship in 1968. The Tigers would win another in 1984, followed up by Isaiah Thomas and the “Bad Boy” Pistons back-to-back NBA championships in 1989-90 before taking another title in 2004. The Pistons would seemingly pass their torch to the Detroit Red Wings, who would go on to capture four Stanley Cups (1997, 98, 2002, 2008), putting the city of Detroit at nine championships since 1960- no thanks to the Lions.
5. Least: Arizona (Phoenix)
With a team in all four major leagues, the city of Phoenix has struggled to find sustainable success across the board. Phoenix has enjoyed some competitive and compelling teams over the years, but have only been able to capture one championship IN 112 combined seasons.
The Arizona Diamondbacks were born in just 1998 and would shock the baseball world capturing their first and only World Series just four seasons later in 2001, behind the arms of Randy Johnson and Kurt Schilling. Outside of that, the Arizona Cardinals pushed their way through to the Super Bowl in 2008, but were defeated in the final moments of play by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Phoenix Suns enjoyed a couple of captivating era’s in both the early ’90s with Charles Barkley, and again in the mid 2000’s with Steve Nash and company. The Coyotes cracked the conference final in 2012 but that is the closest that they have ever come to a championship in 19 NHL seasons.
5. Most: Chicago
It should come as no surprise to see the Windy City make an appearance on our list. With a professional team in all four of the major leagues (and two in the MLB), Chicago has forever been a force in the world of sports. They rode on the shoulders of the greatest basketball player of all time throughout the ’90s for six NBA titles, they have owned the NHL so far this decade capturing three cups since 2010, and the Bears and White Sox pitched in with a few rings between the two of them as well, giving Chicago 12 rings since 1960.
It seems as though Chicago may not be done, either. The Chicago Cubs have been a paragon in baseball this season and have shown little signs of slowing down. The Cubs of course, have not won a World Series title since 1908 and have not been this highly regarded as World Series favourites ever since.
4. Least: San Diego
San Diego has struggled immensely to find its identity in the world of sports, despite having two professional teams that have been around since the 1960’s. The Padres of the MLB and Chargers of the NFL have not been able to find any sustainable success, and together have delivered a grand total of zero championships to the city of San Diego in 104 combined seasons of action.
The Chargers have 15 division championships in their history and one Super Bowl birth back in 1994. They also technically won the “AFL Title” in 1963, but this was a few years prior to the introduction of the Super Bowl, so this was technically more of a Conference championship. The Padres on the other hand have only made the post season five times in their 47 year history, and were swept in their only World Series by the Yankees back in 1998.
4. Most: Pittsburgh
Despite not having an NBA franchise, the city of Pittsburgh as still found a way to rack up more championships than most other cities. The Steele City is one of the more recognized sports cities in America and between the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates, have collected a grand total of 13 championships.
The Penguins have been lucky enough to host three of the top-ten hockey players who have ever lived in Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, and Sydney Crosby, as each has led them to multiple Stanley Cup victories. The Steelers of the NFL have developed a rich history of winning, capturing six championships since 1960, with the latest coming in 2008. Finally, the Pirates have pitched in their fair share of success, with three World Series championships.
3. Least: Atlanta
The city of Atlanta has had its struggles throughout the years, and outside of a World Series title won by the Braves in 1995, it’s been a quiet sixty odd years down south. The Braves could and should have won more than one World Series title in the ’90s, as the “Three-headed monster” of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz, dominated the mound for years.
As for basketball, the 2015 Atlanta Hawks came the closest any Atlanta team has ever come since 1960, playing their way into the Eastern Conference Finals before being quickly dismissed by LeBron James and the Cavaliers. The Falcons have found themselves in just one Super Bowl in 1998, in which they were defeated by the Broncos. As for hockey, Atlanta has now seen two franchises come and go, as the Atlanta Flames lasted from just 1972-1980 before moving to Calgary, and the Atlanta Thrashers from just 1999-2011, before moving to Winnipeg.
3. Most: Los Angeles
I guess the more teams you have the better your chances are at winning a championship- maybe Buffalo should consider this notion. Anyways, the city of Los Angeles has found tremendous success over the years, but despite having more teams than every American city besides New York, they still find themselves coming in with just the third most championships with 19.
The Los Angeles Kings have been LA’s most recent success story, winning Stanley Cups in both 2012 and 2014. The Dodgers have chipped in with four World Series, but the most eminent reason for their championship success belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers, who have captured 11 titles for their city since 1960. With the Rams returning to Los Angeles this season and the Kings being probable Stanley Cup contenders, the city looks to expand their resume of championships.
2. Least: Cleveland
We are pretty sure that it’s safe to say that had LeBron James not brought a championship home to Cleveland last Spring, this city would have come up at number one on our list. However, as torturous as it has been being a Cleveland sports fanatic, we can’t rank a city at number one if it has indeed brought home some hardware.
Cleveland has had a professional team in the NBA, NFL, and MLB with the Cavs being the youngest, born in 1970. The Cleveland Browns however have been in existence since 1946 and although captured a few “NFL” and “AFFC” Championships, they have had no success at a Super Bowl since the merger in the 1960s. The Cleveland Indians have been around since the late 1800s and have only managed to capture two World Series titles, the latest coming in 1948. Finally the Cleveland Cavaliers went to worst to first due to the return of LeBron James and finally won their first ever championship last season, ending the 68 year drought for the city.
2. Most: New York
Of course, it was only a matter of time before the Big Apple would make an appearance on our list. Yes they have more teams than other cities and yes they have been around forever, but they simply just have a rich sports history in New York- a history that cannot be ignored or underappreciated.
New York can thank the Yankees for the majority of their championship success, as out of the 21 championships the city has earned since 1960, nine of them belong to the pin-striped powerhouse of baseball. The Mets have also pitched in with two championships and almost captured a third last fall, losing to the Kansas City Royals in the big dance. The New York Giants (4) and Jets (1), have combined for five Super Bowl championships in the NFL, and the Islanders dominated the NHL for a chunk of the ’80s, winning four straight cups. Mark Messier guaranteed and delivered a cup home to New York for the Rangers in 1994, and the New York Knicks can thanks Willis Reed for helping them bring home their only two championships back in the early 1970s.
1. Least: Buffalo
Despite only having two professional franchises in its city, Buffalo has managed to somehow find a way to be our biggest losers. Not only has the city never seen a championship, but it has found a way to lose in heartbreaking fashion, each and every time. This ability cannot be undermined and thus, we have the city of Buffalo coming in as our least winningest city.
The Buffalo Sabers would reach their first and only Stanley Cup Final in 1999, upsetting the Toronto Maple Leafs in the conference finals. They were never favorites to begin with against the powerhouse Stars, but nonetheless, losing hurts-especially off of a blown call. The Sabers were on the wrong end of Brett Hulls infamous “foot-in-crease” goal that propelled the Stars to their first ever Stanley Cup, ending the Sabers season in the process. As for the Bills, many of you probably know what happened here. They gave their fans four straight Super Bowls to cheer about, but delivered zero championships. Yep, from 1991-1994 the Bills would lose all four Super Bowls and have never been back since. In fact, they are the only team since 1960 to lose four straight championship finals- ouch.
1. Most: Boston
Is anyone really surprised here? The city of Boston has had its hands in all four professional leagues for almost six decades now, with their youngest being the New England Patriots, born in 1959. The city of Boston has collected a grand total of 24 championships since 1960, and every team has chipped in with their fair share.
Most recently, the Boston Red Sox and Bruins took home championships in 2013, giving them each three championships a piece since 1960. The New England Patriots are at the tail end of the Tom Brady- Bill Belichick Era, but have dominated the NFL since 2000, earning six trips to the Super Bowl and taking home four of them. Finally, the Boston Celtics have seen dominant stretches come and go, as they captured eight titles throughout Bill Russell’s run in the 1960s, three in the eighties behind Larry Bird, and one most recently in 2010 behind Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce.
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