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Original and Historical Sports Research

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Playoff Games/Series’ Appearances by City

Posted by Andrew McKillop on May 25, 2011

Professional sports playoffs can create a buzz in a city, that no other form of entertainment/competition can.  A few years ago when I was living in Milwaukee, the Brewers made it to the playoffs for the first time in my lifetime, and it was all the city of Milwaukee could focus on.  It was a big deal, and it united the city.

I decided to dig into the playoff database I created a few weeks ago for the article Playoff Matchups by City in Professional Sports, and find out which cities have sent the most pro teams to playoff games/series’.   The same rules/leagues from the post above still apply.  Meaning I lumped teams by major media market (i.e. Oakland & San Jose = San Francisco).  Although they are in different media markets, I lumped Green Bay into Milwaukee, since the Green Bay Packers have always held close ties to Milwaukee.

The city of New York has sent the most teams to playoff games/series’.  Expectantly because they have the most professional teams amongst the big sports leagues.

Legend: # (Number of games/series’ city teams have played in)

Rk City #
1 New York 483
2 Boston 293
3 Los Angeles 267
4 Chicago 238
5 Philadelphia 224
6 Detroit 212
7 San Francisco 174
8 Montreal 155
9 Minneapolis 146
10 St. Louis 135
11 Dallas 128
12 Pittsburgh 124
13 Toronto 119
14 Washington 111
15 Denver 110
16 Houston 95
17 Milwaukee 94
18 Atlanta 91
19 Cleveland 88
20 Indianapolis 87
21 Buffalo 86
22 Miami 82
23 Phoenix 79
24 Seattle 69
25 Baltimore 64



The sports season of 2000 saw the city of New York send 16 teams to playoff games/series’, the most a city ever sent in a season.

City # Season
New York 16 2000
New York 14 1981
New York 13 1994
Philadelphia 13 1980
New York 12 1986
New York 12 2003
New York 12 2007
New York 11 1984
San Francisco 11 2002



The city of New York also has the longest current playoff streak.  The city has sent at least one team to the playoffs since the 1967 seasons’.  In fact in the last 100 years, the city of New York has failed to send a team to the playoffs on only eight occasions.

City Since Seasons
New York 1967 45
Detroit 1982 30
Dallas 1990 22
Denver 1993 19
Los Angeles 1995 17
Philadelphia 1995 17
Indianapolis 1998 14
San Antonio 1998 14
Boston 2001 11



The city of New York has won the most playoff games/series’ (has also lost the most).  The city of Edmonton has the best winning percentage in playoff games/series’ (minimum 50 games/series’).

Rk City W L W Pct.
1 Edmonton 35 21 0.625
2 Montreal 93 62 0.600
3 Boston 168 124 0.575
4 Pittsburgh 71 53 0.573
5 Los Angeles 146 121 0.547
6 San Francisco 94 79 0.543
7 Baltimore 34 30 0.531
8 Dallas 67 60 0.528
9 San Antonio 33 30 0.524
10 Milwaukee 49 45 0.521
11 Miami 42 39 0.519
12t Philadelphia 116 108 0.518
12t New York 250 233 0.518
14 Salt Lake City 29 28 0.509
15 Toronto 60 59 0.504
16 Indianapolis 43 44 0.494
17 Minneapolis 71 75 0.486
18 Chicago 115 122 0.485
19 Seattle 33 36 0.478
20 Houston 45 50 0.474
21 St. Louis 63 72 0.467
22 Phoenix 36 43 0.456
23 Denver 50 60 0.455
24 Washington 49 62 0.441
25 Buffalo 37 49 0.430
26 Cleveland 37 51 0.420
27 Atlanta 31 60 0.341



Reference: Sports-Reference.com (BB, BK, FB, HK)

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