The NFL is often given credit for the lack of big market advantage thanks to a salary cap and revenue sharing. But as long free agency exists and fans buy tickets, there is still potential for big market teams to attract better players and make more money.
Below is a look at the correlation between wins (2000-11) and market size, and what we see is that there is almost no relationship at all (R2=0.0051). But what is a little surprising is that the correlation doesn’t differ much from the NBA (R2=0.0001) or Major League Baseball (R2=0.0051).
So while the NFL does not appear to give an advantage to big market teams, it does not appear to be any better than the other major sports leagues…
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