ESPN, in recent years, has been slowly adding localized webpages for different markets. Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas are the first five cities to get their own page. Each city is one of the 12 "four-sport" cities in the United States.
That leaves six cities to fend for themselves, with smaller-market media coverage and little airtime and personal attention from ESPN. Here are some of my top picks for new cities to be added.
The city of Detroit fell into a recession when the auto industry went under a few years ago, but it is slowly making a resurgence in sports. The Red Wings have been the only consistency for the city, making the NHL playoffs the past 20 seasons, and looking to make it 21 in a row this year. The team was rallied for years and they have a huge following across the entire state.
The Detroit Tigers have been in contention for the playoffs in recent years. After beating the Yankees and making it to the ALCS this past season, while picking up Prince Fielder over the offseason, the Tigers look for another great season as well as another playoff berth. Slowly but surely the Tigers have been working their way back up into the hearts of Michiganders across the state.
The Lions have been a team that only a few years ago were made infamous by going 0-16. This year, they made the playoffs and put up a solid fight. The team rallied around each other and the city rallied around the team, making it one of the most successful seasons for the Lions in Ford Field. Slowly but surely the Lions are fighting their way to the top with a defense that can't be stopped.
The fourth and final major team in Detroit are the Pistons. There are almost no ties from this team to 2004 and they have struggled out of the gate in the lockout-shortened 2011-2012 season. The following of the Pistons is now at what seems like an all-time low, at least in the past 20 years.
The Miami Heat are the only spectacular team in this city. The "big three" struck headlines and were the talk of the league when they first joined together and they still garner much media attention. Last year the team fought their way to the NBA Championship before losing to the Mavericks. The way this team plays, it looks like they will fight their way through the next few years at the very least.
The Dolphins finished 6-10 this season under interim head coach Todd Bowles for the last three games. The team has won only one playoff game since the 2000 season, and the team looks shaky. From their struggles at the quarterback position to a weak showing in drafts in recent years, look for them to try something new under new Head Coach Joe Philbin next year.
The Marlins went through a facelift this season; not only did they change from the "Florida Marlins" to the "Miami Marlins," but the team has a new logo and new colors to go along with it. The team has won two World Series in franchise history, with the most recent in 2003. The team has never won their division, winning the Wild Card their only two playoff trips.
The Florida Panthers have never won a Stanley Cup and have only made it to the finals once. The team fought their way through the playoffs in the 1995-1996 season but have struggled as of late, finishing with a 30-40-12 (W-L-OTL) record in the 2010-2011 season. The team put up 93 points in their 2008-2009 campaign but still fell short of the playoffs. Other than the Heat and the U, there is not much of a reason for Miami to get their own site on ESPN.
3. Denver- The Broncos took the NFL, the media and the hearts of many Americans last season when "TebowMania" swept the league. The team made the playoffs and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime. Things are looking up for the team and will continue to get better as long as Tim Tebow continues to start for the team.
The Colorado Avalanche have made the playoffs two of the past four seasons and took Colorado by storm when they moved there. The team was originally the Quebec Nordiques and moved to the Mile High City in 1995. The team occasionally makes playoff runs and is sometimes able to put up a fight come playoff time. They have had some big-name players play there, including Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg.
The Colorado Rockies have made the playoffs two times, winning the World Series in 2007. Attendance has slowly climbed back up since an all-time franchise low in 2003. The team has had players like Todd Helton and Joe Girardi play in the organization. The team has played well in the past, including some phenomenal baseball in 2009 that put them in the playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets is the NBA team in the Mile High City, and after making many roster moves and trades, the team has now stacked their lineup with some stars and traded some away as well. The future looks good for the Nuggets and they look to continue to improve on past years for the next season after a lockout-shortened 2011-2012 campaign.
Those three teams seem to be some of the best candidates for an ESPN-affiliated webpage. Another city that could be in contention is Indianapolis. They might not be a four-sport city, but with the Colts and Pacers both being good teams (when they are at full strength), they are well-deserving. IU is only about an hour away and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is located just outside the city. They could definitely host a ESPN page.
If you think you can name all twelve "four-sport cities" try for yourself at http://www.sporcle.com/games/g/sportscities
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