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DSM USA Named #1 Minor League Sports Market

September 19, 2017

GREATER DES MOINES, IA  – Greater Des Moines (DSM) has been named the #1 Minor League Sports Market by SportsBusiness Journal. DSM topped 219 markets that were included in the ranking. DSM appears on the front page of the Sept. 18-24 issue of the publication.

The ranking was calculated from three category-specific measures: tenure rank, attendance rank and economic rank. DSM benefited from the four teams measured in the ranking — the Iowa Barnstormers, Iowa Cubs, Iowa Wild and Iowa Wolves — having a consistent presence in the region and drawing strong attendance numbers. DSM is the first #1 market in the study’s history to have a team in four sports.

The article credits a thriving economy, a young population, low crime and plentiful restaurant and entertainment options to contributing to the region’s success.

“Our professional sports teams add to the vibrancy and quality of life in DSM, and play a key role in our region’s ability to attract and retain talent,” said Jay Byers, CEO of The Partnership. “This is another example of the nation taking notice of DSM’s best-in-class amenities.”

SportsBusiness Journal details the history and success of each of the region’s minor league teams. Excerpts from the article include:

Iowa Wild: “As the team heads into its fifth season, the market appears to be catching on. The team has sold more than 2,500 full-season tickets, its most ever, while group sales are on record pace, sponsor revenue is already up 25 percent over last year’s record high and last year’s average attendance of 6,019 was the club’s best yet.”

Iowa Cubs: “Times have never been better for the Cubs. … Overall, the Cubs averaged 7,763 fans per game this season, up 5 percent from 2016 and their best figure since 2009. Their season-ticket base held steady at 2,500.”

Iowa Wolves: “After an eventful summer for the Wolves on the business side, it’s clear that the sport has a bright future in the city. In May, the Minnesota Timberwolves bought and rebranded the club, which had been called the Iowa Energy since its inception. The move has been positive for the Wolves.”

Iowa Barnstormers: “When Wells Fargo Arena opened in 2008, the Barnstormers were reborn — first as part of the af2, then the AFL and, for the past three seasons, the Indoor Football League. And despite the seven-year hiatus, they remain one of the sport’s top draws, averaging 7,100 fans a game over the past five years.”

Click here to read the full article. SportsBusiness Journal is a subscription-only publication, but offers a free trial period sign-up option.


About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce and more than 6,000 Regional Business Members, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes Des Moines as the best place to build a business, a career and a future.