Hey Colorado! It's the Denver Market, Not You.

Philip DodsonCorrespondent IJune 10, 2010

Today, the Pac-10 formally welcomed the University of Colorado into the “Conference of Champions.”  Colorado was certainly not evaluated on their performance in revenue-producing sports (men's basketball and football), but by exposure provided by a large alumni base in a strong media market.

The Denver market is the 18th largest in the nation, and will give the Pac-10 a major media market east of the Rockies.  With the addition of Denver, the conference holds eight of the top 30 major media markets in the United States. If rumors turn to fact in the near future, the conference will be adding a few more major markets in the states of Texas and Oklahoma.


Pac-10 Media Markets

Los Angeles, California

Ranked No. 2 nationally. Los Angeles is home to both UCLA and USC, and they both often steal the spotlight from the Lakers, Angels, Dodgers, and Clippers.  The Trojans and Bruins are national brands that draw well on the road and bring in talent every year. Both schools are luckily stereotyped with the beauty, glitz, and glamor of the southern California scene.

2009 Enrollment: USC33,784. UCLA38,476


San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, California

Ranked No. 6 nationally. The Bay Area carries a high cost of living, and lifestyles full of liberation and history.  Opposite in reputation, both Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley share the media spotlight with the 49ers, Raiders, Athletics, Giants, and Warriors.  Stanford is a national brand based on respect, academic prowess, and responsibility, while Berkeley is known for free-minded, tree hugging, innovative students.

2009 Enrollments: California at Berkeley35,843; Stanford15,319


Phoenix, Arizona

Ranked No. 12 nationally. Phoenix is home to the Diamondbacks, Suns, Cardinals, and Arizona State in nearby Tempe.  Known for the weather, women, and senior citizens, the Sun Devils have never been an athletic dynasty.  The Tempe campus did nudge out Ohio State for the largest student enrollment in 2009.

2009 Enrollment: Arizona State55,552


Seattle/Tacoma, Washington

Ranked No. 14 nationally. The Puget Sound metropolitan area is packed with people from Olympia to north Seattle. Known for coffee, airplanes, rain, and yuppies, the Seattle area has always supported their Huskies until the end. Even during the down years of Washington football, fans would flock to 72,500 seat Husky Stadium on scenic Lake Washington.  The Seattle media also devotes a great amount of time to the Seahawks, Mariners, and even Washington State athletics.

2009 Enrollment: University of Washington42,907

Denver, Colorado

Ranked No. 18 nationally. Commonly known as the center of fitness, outdoor activities, and unpredictable weather conditions.  Home of the Colorado Rockies, Nuggets, and Broncos, all of whom share large fan bases throughout the state.  The University of Colorado is the most recognizable campus in the state and sits 25 miles northwest of Denver. Every season, the Buffaloes and in-state rival Colorado State meet at Invesco Field.

2009 enrollments: Colorado30,196


Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, California

Ranked No. 20 nationally. The inland city lies 73 east of the Bay Area and is home to Sacramento State and the NBA’s Kings.  While the Spartans do earn media attention, Stanford and Berkeley receive the majority of collegiate coverage and locals hold most of their alliances with Bay Area teams.



Ranked No. 23 nationally. Often referred to as the little brother of Seattle, the Northwest city sits nearly 75 miles north of Corvallis, Oregon.  The Rose City is home to the Portland Blazers, and the majority of Oregon and Oregon State alums flock to the only major city in the state of Oregon.  Collegiate sports alliances and exposure are concentrated on the Ducks and Beavers, with brief side notes given to Portland State.


San Diego, California

Ranked No. 27 nationally. The warm southern California city holds the envy of lifestyle for most West Coast residents. San Diego State does have a large following, but most locals will follow USC and UCLA.  The San Diego Chargers have built a strong football community, and the Padres provide a great environment in which to watch baseball. Every December, Pac-10 fans yearn for a chance to visit San Diego to watch their respective teams in the Holiday Bowl.


Tucson, Arizona

Ranked No. 68 nationally. It's located 118 miles east of Phoenix, and in 2008, the metropolitan area was home to over one million residents. With the absence of any professional teams, media coverage tends to focus on the hometown Arizona Wildcats.

2009 Enrollment: Arizona35,840


Spokane, Washington

Ranked No. 77 nationally. The Spokane media shares coverage of hometown Gonzaga University, and nearby Washington State.  Located in the small town of Pullman, the responsibility of Cougar coverage is handled by Spokane nearly 75 miles away. Without a collegiate football team, Gonzaga takes a back seat to Cougar football until basketball seasons begins.


Eugene, Oregon

Ranked No. 120 nationally. The Eugene media market includes Eugene, Corvallis, and surrounding areas. The lower Willamette Valley is blessed with two respected national universities located just 40 miles apart. With the success of both programs over the last decade, the state of Oregon has become obsessed with Duck and Beaver athletics.

2009 Enrollment: Oregon22,386; Oregon State21,969


Notable West Coast Cities without a Pac-10 presence:

Salt Lake City, Utah

Ranked No. 35 nationally. Local media coverage is split between Brigham Young, the University of Utah, and the NBA’s Jazz.  An intriguing market that was evaluated by the Pac-10, only to find that the city shares little in common with the conference in terms of lifestyle and academic standards.


Las Vegas, Nevada

Ranked No. 43 nationally. The majority of Las Vegas media coverage focuses on the national sports scene.  UNLV receives secondary attention to sports gambling, and the area is full of imported residents holding collegiate allegiances to other parts of the country.


Reno, Nevada

Ranked No. 110 nationally. The Reno/Sparks area is home to the University of Reno and little else.  With casinos and nearby Lake Tahoe, the city and media would do little to increase exposure and revenue for the conference.

Boise, Idaho

Ranked No. 113 nationally. Home to Boise State University and saturated with an abundant amount of Bronco football fans.  Obsessed with football, Idaho residents provide a passion for athletics only displayed by major universities.  But does any Pac-10 fan really want to travel to Boise?


Rankings provided by Nielson Media Research from the 2007-2008 television season with a total of 210 national media markets.


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