Franchise Strengh Index History for All 30 Teams
Apologies for the short post today. Recently, I presented a model of predicting attendance for major league teams. Last week, I presented "Franchise Strength Index", an index measuring the strength of the franchise controlling for the quality of the team on the field, new ballparks, playoff appearances, etc. Essentially, the Franchise Strength Index is just the residuals of the attendance model. A Franchise Strength Index of greater than 1 indicates the team draws better than one would expect, while an index less than one indicates a weaker franchise that is drawing fewer fans than expected.
In response to some readers, I've decided to present graphs of every MLB team's Franchise Strength Index throughout their history. What follows are the graphs, followed by a few brief comments. Last week many commenters made some great observations concerning the expansion era moves and I encourage people to do the same here.
- The Tigers used to be one of the power franchises in the MLB. Now, even though they are sometimes considered "small-market", they rate as about average.
- The last few years aside, the White Sox have franchise strength has steadily declined since the Black Sox era.
- The Orioles were actually the AL East's strongest franchise during the 1990's and 2000's.
- The Red Sox actually haven't been all that strong throughout their history (recent history should be disregarded however, since the Red Sox have a small ballpark that has reached capacity).
- The Yankees brand actually fell below average in the early 1990's.
- Despite playing second fiddle to the Dodgers, the Angels are still a tremendously strong franchise.
- The Mariners popularity increased dramatically with the presence of Ken Griffey Jr. and was further cemented by the 1995 team.
- The Cubs are the strongest they have been since the 1920's.
- The Cardinals franchise benefited tremendously from the St. Louis Browns leaving town.
- The Pirates are actually in a stronger position now than they were when they were winning in the 1970's.
- The Mets of the 1960's were baseball's most popular team ever relative to their performance.
- Despite their big market reputation, the Phillies don't have tremendous attendance. Veteran's Stadium was one of the biggest ballpark boosts ever received.
- Florida's in real trouble and has been for some time.
- The Dodgers are bar-none baseball's strongest franchise.
- The Rockies started as one of baseball's strongest expansion teams, but have fallen considerably.