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Data Visualization Settles 'Greatest Sports Town' Debate

Chris Garcia
Director of Marketing

It's an age-old argument. Boston, Pittsburgh, and Green Bay all claim to be "Title Town." The Dallas Cowboys say they are "America's Team." Chicago and New York have no shortage of sports fans that think their city has the best pro teams. Remember "Da Bulls" and "Da Bears"? The debate has gone on for decades. Which city really has the greatest professional sports teams of all time?

As an Oracle employee and sports nut, I have the pleasure of combining what I love with my 9-to-5 job. In this case, I get to answer the question of which city has the best claim to the title of "greatest pro-sports city."

How does this relate to the business world? In today's fast-paced business environment, we often must make quick decisions. Sometimes our choices are based on fact, and other times they're biased. We always try to make the best decisions, but when we don't have all the data, our choices can be wrong. How do we prevent our biases from leading us down the wrong path? Data! More specifically, quick access to information. Fast, easy access to data and its analysis will ensure we make informed choices. So, when people say their town is the best sports city, are they basing that on fact or opinion?

During my research for this blog post, I came across several sources of data. ESPN, Fox Sports, and individual professional sports-team websites all offer pertinent information. However, I found one website that consolidated all the data I was looking for. Championship History offers a comprehensive collection of facts and figures for this argument. I copied and pasted the data for the "big four" professional sports (football, baseball, basketball, hockey) into a spreadsheet and began my analysis. Here is my data.

For this analysis, I am using Oracle Data Visualization. I imported the above spreadsheet into the tool and started my work. Before I answer the question of "greatest pro-sports city," let's look at each of the big four sports.


In the Oracle Data Visualization tool, you have the ability to see heat maps for data that has geographic identifiers. Here's what it looks like.

Click here for a larger image.

Sure, you could guess what each of these bubbles represent. But using this tool, you simply hover your mouse pointer over the bubble and see the data behind the graphic. Obviously, we can't showcase that in this post, so here is a basic graph showing the information.

Click here for a larger image.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have won the most Super Bowls. Period.


Click here for a larger image.

Click here for a larger image.

When it comes to the World Series, New York is the best. Most of those went to the Yankees but the Mets have also won a couple of times.


Click here for a larger image.

Click here for a larger image.

Bean Town! Historically, there is no better hoops town around. The Celtics of the past were special.


Click here for a larger image.

Click here for a larger image.

Not counting the Yankees, the Montreal Canadiens are the most dominant sports organization in the modern world. However, the majority of their championships were 50+ years ago.

Who Reigns Supreme?

Looking at the individual sports is quite revealing and nostalgic. But we still haven't answered the original question. Which city is the greatest pro-sports city of all time? To answer this, I filtered out all of the cities that haven't won at least one championship in each of the four major sports. That left me with four cities: Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Boston. Fans in each of these towns should be able to claim their city is the best because, well, getting one championship in each sport is amazing. Just look below at how many towns have championships! Then, when you filter that data further, you will see the real winner...

Click here for a larger image.

Click here for a larger image.

New York and Boston have the strongest cases. But, since facts are facts, NYC is the winner.

That was fun! And it only took me a few seconds to switch from graph to graph.

This is the value of using a data visualization tool: the quick, dynamic, user-friendly manipulation of information. No more using archaic spreadsheets to try and glimpse nuggets of insight from your data. Oracle Data Visualization tools make the information at your fingertips more useful than ever.

If you like what you see, visit www.oracle.com/goto/datavisualization to learn more about Oracle Data Visualization and get your free trial.

If you already have Oracle Data Visualization, here is the .dva file for this analysis.

The password is "CHAMPS" (without quotes), all uppercase. Enjoy!


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