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Can Seattle Handle Two More Professional Sports Teams?

The possibility of the NBA and NHL coming to Seattle is exciting for many local sportsfans, but an arena needs to be built first. And for an arena to be built, the city and arena-backer Chris Hansen must make it past several obstacles and questions surrounding the project.

Tim Ellis, editor of real estate site SeattleBubble.com explored the question of whether the city of Seattle could handle supporting two more professional sports teams.

According to his findings, Ellis does not think Seattle could support two more professional teams:

At 875,007 residents per local pro sports team, Seattle is already 25% below the 28-city average of 1,174,483. If we were to bring both NBA and NHL teams to our market we would shoot to a full 50% below the average.

It would appear that the answer to Councilmember Hague's question of whether Seattle can "support so many teams" would appear to be "probably not."

Five other cities; Washington D.C., San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York all have at least 63 percent or more people than Seattle.

Of course, Ellis' study is imperfect as he admits it in the blog post:

Other counterpoints include Nick Eaton's from the Seattle PI who references the cities of Denver and Minneapolis as markets with a small populations that thrive with five professional sports teams.

Ellis' findings are thought-provoking and are not totally worthless. Every question must be answered before Hansen and the city go all-in. Count this as one of them.