Do not attempt: We are professionals

From the sports fan’s perspective, the elephant in the room when it comes to Austin is its lack of a professional sports team.  Sure, UT fills the need for just about any sport–football, basketball, baseball, volleyball–you name it.  In fact, we had something like 18 current or former UT athletes participate in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.  But some can’t help but feel unfulfilled by this lack of presence of “the big four” (although, let’s be honest, you people don’t and never will have a full appreciation of the greatness that is NHL hockey).


Austin lacks all of these professional sports, plus hockey.  Does that help or hurt the city?  Also, you can purchase these lovely foam balls by clicking on this image.

Austin lacks all of these professional sports, plus hockey. Does that help or hurt the city? Also, you can purchase these lovely foam balls by clicking on this image.

In basketball, the state more than makes up for Austin’s lacking.  With the Spurs in San Antonio, the Rockets in Houston and the Mavericks (a team of Mavericks?) in Dallas, it’s safe to say Texas is sufficiently covered for the NBA.  Not to mention the fact that all three teams within the last few years have been or look to be above average.

In football, you have your old standard and your…  maybe up-and-comers, being the Cowboys and Texans respectively.  I’ve always found it surprising to see how many former Oilers fans have remained Titans fans, once the team moved to Tennessee.  But as everyone knows, if one sport at UT dominates, it’s certainly football.  So that’s two down.  Two to go.

Baseball is tricky for cities.  On the whole, it requires the most effort on the part of the people because there are 162 games, 81 of which are home.  To fill a 34,000-person stadium, or come close to it, over the span of April to September is no small feat.  Houston and Arlington, homes of the Astros and Rangers, have also both built new stadiums within the last 15 years or so.  The Astros’ stadium, Minute Maid Park, in particular is quite impressive.

So that leaves hockey, a sport that’s already overcrowded with 30 teams in the league.  Of the 24 teams in the U.S., Texas has the Dallas Stars.  (Fun fact: can you name the six Canadian hockey teams?  Answer here.)  If any sport were to move into Austin, I think it would be hockey.  Let’s face it, the Ice Bats just aren’t cuttin’ it (and neither is their Web site!).  And I could see Austin liking the unique nature of a northern sport in a southern state.  Just a thought.

Then again, I think I would probably be opposed to any professional team coming to Austin.  Much like Columbus, Ohio, the major university in this city seems sustaining enough for its sports fans.  What sport would you choose to come to Austin?



4 Responses to “Do not attempt: We are professionals”

  1. 1 Saul November 6, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Hands down, I think we can all agree that Austin needs a much more serious roller derby presence. And if that were roller derby with swords, well, I say so much the better.

  2. 2 Brittany November 7, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    I wish there was more of a volleyball scene here. It’s a popular sport and from what I’ve seen just during intramurals, there are LOTS of really talented players in Austin.

  3. 3 Kristin November 7, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    You had the pic, but left out any mention of soccer! what?! That might be a great sport to bring in since UT doesn’t even have men’s soccer. I know Texans are sometimes anti-soccer because they’re so football crazy, but I know there are a lot of talented high school players that have no where to go.
    Also, have you ever been to an Ice Bats game? I haven’t yet, is it a joke? Hockey is HUGE in my hometown, but I don’t know how people feel about it in Texas. Are there some hardcore fans out there?

  4. 4 jeffbechdel November 10, 2008 at 12:20 am

    haha, I know. I love soccer–my only four year sport in high school. But I guess since Houston and Dallas already have MLS teams, one in Austin might be a bit much. Texas can handle three NBA teams. But a league that struggles as it is like the MLS needs to broaden their fanbase.

    Ice Bat games are… not that fun. It’s worth a trip just to say you’ve seen it, though.

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