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How big is San Jose?

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You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with sports?  A lot, actually.  The NHL calculates market size based on what's known as the 'Designated Market Area,' which ranks cities based on how many TV households they have:

Rank
Designated Market Area (DMA)
TV Households
% of US
1   New York, NY 7,493,530   6.524  
2   Los Angeles, CA 5,659,170   4.927  
3   Chicago, IL 3,501,010   3.048  
4   Philadelphia, PA 2,955,190   2.573  
5   Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX 2,544,410   2.215  
6   San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA 2,503,400   2.179  

 

I don't mean to pick on SBN writers, because a lot of people make this mistake, but there is no way that San Jose is the fifth-smallest US hockey market.  If it was, the Sharks would be candidates for receiving instead of potentially giving revenue sharing dollars.  The problem is that people tend to use the census' "Metropolitan Statistical Areas" instead of the "Combined Statistical Area," which does a better job of determining which large markets are essentially integrated:

 

  Statistical Area CSA (2008) MSA (2009) MSA%
1 New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA 22,154,752 19,069,796 86
2 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA 17,786,419 12,874,797 72
3 Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City, IL-IN-WI 9,793,036 9,580,567 98
4 Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV 8,295,397 4,796,183 58
5 Boston-Worcester-Manchester, MA-RI-NH 7,514,759 4,588,680 61
6 San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA 7,354,555 1,839,700 25
7 Dallas-Fort Worth, TX 6,655,261 6,447,615 97
8 Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland, PA-NJ-DE-MD 6,398,896 5,968,252 93
9 Houston-Baytown-Huntsville, TX 5,829,620 5,867,489 101
10 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, GA-AL 5,729,304 5,475,213 96

 

If the New Jersey Devils are in a market that includes Long Island, then the San Jose Sharks are certainly in a market that includes neighboring counties.  That's why the San Francisco Giants "own" Santa Clara County and the City of San Jose as part of their territory - and there are no shortage of fans who cross between the arbitrarily-defined Bay Area MSAs to attend games.

Bottom Line: San Jose is in the 6th-largest sports market in the country.  It is not just barely larger than Columbus.