Seattle and Total Personal Income

April 11, 2015

American City Business Journals, the parent of Puget Sound Business Journal, delivered another analysis of potential for sports in a wide range of markets.  Different from their previous version a few years back, they included the necessary local income needed to support a “Power 5” NCAA conference.

Focusing on their Seattle analysis, they note that the region can, as judged by Total Personal Income, support either an NHL or NBA franchise.  The numbers indicate, however, it’d be difficult to support both, in addition to the franchises already in town.  This is nothing new.  Nor does it spell trouble if both arena sports were to arrive here.  Indeed, many other markets are stretched further than Seattle would be in such a situation.

The irony is that in order for a new arena to be successful, both hockey and basketball are desirable to make the economics work.  A new arena is a bit less financially viable with only one of the sports calling it home.  Yet as this study indicates, only one can comfortably fit into the sports scene.

The study further confirms that the region punches above it population weight, with the greater Puget Sound area’s Total Personal Income higher than those of some metro areas with greater population, such as Detroit and Phoenix.  Total Personal Income isn’t the final word when it comes to judging a market’s attractiveness to new sports, but it does provide another piece of the puzzle.  Furthermore, it’s a nice complement to population and per capita income analysis