The Washington Post

Hershey/Harrisburg judged U.S.’s best minor-league market

We all do have a jolly good time lamenting that D.C. is not the sports town of our dreams, from the sometimes lackluster TV ratings to the sometimes front-running fan bases to the sometimes less-than-inspirational on-field results.

But here’s some good news. While Washington’s major-league franchises might not be shining examples of success and optimism and beauty and grace, their minor-league affiliates seem to be humming along.

SportsBusiness Journal this week published its list of the top minor-league markets in America, and of the 241 markets surveyed, Hershey/Harrisburg finished first. The best. On top. Number one.

And yes, that’s the same Hershey/Harrisburg that’s home to the Hershey Bears, the Caps’ top affiliate, and the Harrisburg Senators, the Nats’ AA partner. The region’s only other included team is the Harrisburg Stampede of the Southern Indoor Football League, so I think it’s safe to assume that the Bears and Senators carried the day.

Actually, there are a whole bunch of strong performers with local ties on the SBJ list. Syracuse, home of the Nats’ AAA affiliate, finished sixth. Charleston, home of the Caps’ South Carolina Stingrays affiliate, was seventh. Norfolk (17th) and Richmond (18th) both finished in the top 20. Woodbridge, home of the P-Nats, was 51st, and Hagerstown, home of the Suns, was 57th. Bowie/College Park, meantime, finished tied for 174th.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.

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