I'd love to hear your opinions on this.
Fort Wayne has dropped from No. 2 to No. 19 on the Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal's biannual ranking of the top minor-league cities.
Fort Wayne was No. 1 in 2009.
I expected a drop, mostly because of the long-overdue death of indoor football in this city. To outsiders, they saw that the Freedom/Fusion/Firehawks added to the city's total attendance numbers, but they didn't see the laughingstock it all was, what with the unpaid bills, constant changes in ownership, and so on.
I mean, really, is the local market not better off without having them here?
But even if we take that, to outsiders, indoor football's departure would seem a bad sign, I wouldn't have guessed such a huge drop, not when the Komets' attendance remains high and the TinCaps remain a marquee minor-league baseball franchise.
We must factor in that the Komets' move to the CHL dropped the total attendance numbers slightly, because the played fewer games than in the IHL, but that should have had a boost in some respects since the CHL is a more-reputable league. (And isn't Fort Wayne still getting credit for hosting Evansville's three home games?)
There has been some decline in Mad Ants attendance, but they still draw well for the D-League. And let's not forget that the economy is crappy almost everywhere. You can't tell me they aren't struggling with money in places like Toledo.
I mean, Hidalgo, Texas, is higher than Fort Wayne on this list. The Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees aren't exactly a model franchise right now. Everywhere, there are economic problems.
This whole list just lost a lot of credibility with me.