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Indianapolis ranked as best North American sports city

Take this into Memorial Day weekend as you lounge on a beach somewhere, wondering what the 2009 season will bring for the Colts: The best sports city in all of North America is not New York. It's not Los Angeles or San Francisco. It's not Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, or Dallas. It is NOT friggin Boston (though they were close).

The best sports city in all of North America is Indianapolis.

A Star analysis of winning percentages among professional sports teams in 37 North American cities since 2000 shows Toronto ranks in the middle of the pack.

Our city's legendary sporting mediocrity places us well below Indianapolis, Boston and Vancouver, which top the list of civic sporting overachievers.


For its relatively diminutive size and low Midwestern profile, Indianapolis is a sporting powerhouse. The city's National Football League Colts and National Basketball Association Pacers have logged wins 66 per cent of the time since 2000.

Perhaps best known for the Indianapolis 500, the city is home to the NCAA and many of its major tournaments, has hosted more than 400 national and international championships since 1980 and will welcome the Super Bowl in 2012.

They built this city on sports, says Bill Benner, a former sports columnist at The Indianapolis Star. "Indianapolis, beginning about 30 years ago, used sports ... as an economic development strategy. Using sports as the cornerstone played out beyond anyone's imagination."

Indianapolis mayor Gregg Ballard has an interesting quote in this article about how winning in Indiana is nice, but even more important than winning is "winning the right way." Such statements are very "Midwestern," and take their roots in Indiana.