Top 15 Cities That Don't Deserve Their Sports Franchise

Every major city and a few minor ones, want a sports team. It’s a major thing to help put them on the map. It’s a big economic boost, it makes the cities look far more important and it enhances their standing nicely. Every time expansion is talked about, cities make major bids and do their best to secure a team. Of course, there are issues of starting out as too many expansion teams take a long time to get into contention and can suffer a while. However, some cities have shown that having a sports team isn’t something they really deserve.

It’s not just newer teams or ones that haven’t lived up to their potential. There are plenty of older franchises who don’t really deserve to be where they are. They can be ignored by their cities with horribly low attendance, no real passion and nothing to really boost them as much as they should have. Cities that worked hard to get teams end up not caring about them all that much while others are more than willing to give their bad teams up. Here are 15 cities who don’t deserve their sports franchises and something towns who want their own should consider.

15 15. Minneapolis

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The worst of the bunch in this town have to be the Timberwolves. They are dead last in attendance in the NBA, driven by how they haven’t had a playoff appearance or a winning season in over a decade and often cited among the absolute worst franchises in all of sports. The Twins are long removed from their one time World Series glory of 1991, winning a divisional title in 2010 but lost 103 games in 2016. As for the Vikings, they still have plenty of fans but sadly, too few winning seasons and lots of playoff losses in the last decade have ruined the love fans have for them.

14 14. Atlanta

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When the Thrashers left the city to head to Winnipeg and become the Jets, there wasn’t exactly a huge outcry as their attendance was horrible. That speaks a lot about Atlanta, a city that often seems to enjoy trashing their teams more than enjoying their success. The Braves haven’t seen massive success since the 1990s, their few divisional titles far between and their average attendance barely filling half of their stadium. The Hawks are having some good seasons lately but are having serious trouble getting fans to come in, their attendance among the lowest in the NBA.

13 13. San Francisco

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Let’s get the positives out of the way. The Giants have won three World Series in the last six seasons and stayed strong so they have major backing from their fans. The Warriors had the best single-season record in NBA history in 2015-16 and were close to winning a second straight championship so they’re great too. But then there are the 49ers. Once, they were THE team for the City By the Bay, winning five Super Bowls over a decade and Joe Montana making them one of the best teams in the NFL.

12 12. Washington

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Way back when the Senators played there, the common joke on Washington was “first in war, first in peace, last in the American League.” Today, that’s been spread to several of their teams. The Redskins have seen success with Super Bowls but have had some rough years too, playoff losses and the ensuing controversy over their very name. The Wizards have shown very little magic, their last divisional titles in the 1970s and despite playoff attempts in the last few seasons, they still have a lot of losing seasons.

11 11. Cincinnati

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The Bengals have seen serious ups and downs over the years from Super Bowl appearances to some truly awful years and haven’t won a playoff game since 1991. They are still trying but appear overwhelmed and the vast rows of empty seats at Paul Brown Stadium show how hard it is for fans to get behind them. But that’s nothing compared to the Reds. Once upon a time, this was one of the biggest teams in baseball, dominating in the 1970s with back to back World Series and another one in 1990.

10 10. Milwaukee

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9 9. Charlotte

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In football, this southern city does well. The Panthers have had some great runs, including their fantastic 2015 season where they went 15-1 and a try at the Super Bowl. However, the backlash has been big on how the Panthers collapsed in 2016 with a bad losing season and the same fans ripping the team for coming apart this badly. But the Hornets are another story.

Technically, the Bobcats were created in 2004, but they got the Hornets name when New Orleans (who had been the original Hornets) changed their name to the Pelicans and gave it back. That confusing backstory may be a key reason fans don’t get into the team that much, not helped by their bad seasons. They’ve had only a handful of playoff appearances, the majority of them eliminated in the first round and even with Michael Jordan as owner, can’t get basketball fans excited for them.

8 8. Phoenix

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Diamondbacks won the World Series in 2001, beating the Yankees after just three seasons around. The Cardinals have been to the Super Bowl, the Suns to the NBA Finals twice but the Coyotes have been terrible, save for a few playoff appearances. Yet, every one of those teams has had trouble packing in fans. The Diamondbacks have one of the largest stadiums in the majors but it’s half-empty most of the time and even during their Finals runs, the Suns and Cardinals didn’t exactly get things going.

7 7. Buffalo

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not just how Buffalo isn’t as well known or huge as New York or the crummy weather. Their sports teams are infamous for some of the absolute biggest heartbreaks in history. The Bills are the only team to lose four straight Super Bowls, an agony that still hurts and overshadows the few good winning seasons they have. The Sabres last reached the Stanley Cup in 1999 and lost in one of the most controversial calls in NHL history. Since then, winning seasons have been few and far between and even in winning years, they have trouble packing in fans in huge numbers.

6 6. Oakland

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5 5. Cleveland

Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

On paper, 2016 should be the year Cleveland finally escaped the agony of sports shame. After 52 years, the city could at last raise a championship banner with the Cavs making a sensational comeback to win the NBA title. Then the Indians rose up to win the AL Pennant and come within a few runs of the World Series. In that regard, Cleveland should be doing great except for one thing: the Browns. The absolute joke of the NFL for decades, the Browns haven’t had a playoff appearance since 2002 and exactly one winning season since.

4 4. Toronto

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Canada may be “hockey country” but the Maple Leafs aren’t that well regarded. A team that once dominated with 13 Stanley Cups have had only one playoff appearance in the last 12 years and infamous for some of the stupidest management moves in the NHL. The Blue Jays won back to back World Series in the early 1990s but then hit a major slump and while they’ve won the division in the last year, they still have trouble filling seats. While the Raptors made a decent run in the playoffs last year, they aren’t exactly known for their great work on the court either. The fact that basketball isn’t a big deal in Canada works against them too as you’re hard pressed to find a regular game sellout for their games.

3 3. San Diego

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The big calling for this California city is their terrific zoo and nice golf courses. Aside from that, it’s not really known for a passionate fanbase and their two teams show that. The Chargers have had a few good seasons here and there but their attendance is so low that talk of them being moved to another city hasn't really created huge outcry to let them stay in San Diego.

2 2. Sacramento

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1 1. Jacksonville

Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville is a lovely city on the upper coast of Florida. It has a great populace, a good economy, wonderful beaches and a nice influx of sports fans thanks to how the annual Florida/Georgia game is played there. When they won the rights to an NFL franchise in 1993, the city was excited, hopeful for a great boost to things. Sadly, the Jaguars have failed to live up to any of that potential. They have gotten a few division wins and playoff chances but nothing major. Far too many losing seasons have occurred and while there is a fanbase, it’s not as huge as it could be for a good team, way too many blackouts due to low attendance.

It really is a shame as Jacksonville has the ingredients for a good sports base in Florida but don’t seem to care too much about the team today as the Jaguars hardly roar.

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Top 15 Cities That Don't Deserve Their Sports Franchise