Monday, July 23, 2012

City and Country GDP: How Does Portland Stack Up?

An interesting little table from the Wall Street Journal lists countries and US metro areas by GDP.  Some pretty stunning facts: the NYC metro area's GDP is larger than Mexico's or South Korea's.  Chicago has a bigger economy than Sweden!

So how does Portland stack up?  Well our economy is bigger than all of Vietnam (and before you dismiss that remember that Vietnam has done pretty well in the last 20 years or so).  What struck me is that the Portland metro area economy is bigger then St. Louis, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Charlotte and Indianapolis (cue the calls for NFL and MLB in Portland).  


Dann Cutter said...

Ignoring all the good economic info in your post, since it is about that time of year, I read 'NFL' and had to comment.

The difficulty in a new NFL franchise today is that it essentially has to START big. Most of the cities you mentioned started with the early football leagues which didn't need to build billion dollar stadiums, and could build the generation fan base over, well, a generation.

Today, to see a reasonable expectation of return, you would need to have a team be competitive right away, or a deep pocket which was comfortable losing significant millions for years. And even the losing teams are now struggling, as losses acceptable in the 80s are just not as palatable today.

Finally you would need to build a culture of football in Oregon that really doesn't exist yet - we have fans, but we need to show we have fans who would come to a game in 40 degrees and pouring rain, and watch their team get blown out (Cleveland).

Don't get me wrong, I love me some football - but I don't know if I would bother with tickets - TV at home is much more comfortable, and less annoying drunk people (why I skip the OSU games now that I am not longer able to easily slip into the student section).

All this is to say, the barrier to entry for an NFL franchise in Portland is high - very high. Unless the marketing of the game itself changes, I just don't see us becoming an attractive market soon for NFL expansion.

(btw, it is the same reason soccer is kinda working - lower expectations - then again, I went to Timber's games when I was five at Civic, so I am unconvinced yet of its longevity)

Patrick Emerson said...

Aha, I see you rose to my bait. I agree, there are significant historical reasons that make NFL in Buffalo work and NFL in Portland not work. I don't think either NFL or MLB is right for Portland and we have a distinct lack of corporate headquarters here that will buy up all of the thousands of corporate boxes that make up the modern stadium.

Ducks and Beavers are plenty for our little state, methinks.