By Josh Spano ’18
Many big cities have a unique identity such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
Yet, while Phoenix is the sixth largest city by population in the United States it still does not seem to have an identity.
Part of this comes from the many people who have moved to Phoenix in the last 35 years. In 1980 Phoenix only had a population of about 790,000 but 35 years later the population nearly doubled at around 1,560,000 residents today, according to censusscope.org.
In fact of the top largest cities, Phoenix has the second highest growth at 17.7% from 2000-2015 according to censusscope.org.
What this means is that people moving to Phoenix bring many parts of their culture to their new home and that includes loving their original childhood team.
This in turn causes many of the children of these parents to like the same sports teams of their parents or it causes retirees to begin to support the Arizona teams.
However, in recent years many of the Arizona sports teams are becoming more popular to Phoenix residents because they are gaining new fans from all over the United States.
If Phoenix wants to have a more influential national identity they need to continue to build a good fanbase for their sports teams.
To do this they need at least some of the teams to be successful so they can gain more support from the local residents. Residents need to invest more in the team so then they can better talent.
That includes us as Brophy students.
Many of us will support our parents’ teams or will not find interest in our sports teams because they are not established.
They need support to be established. Our generation is the first to grow up with all four of the major sport markets in our city.
This means that the time to gain support is right now and with our population growing more and more each year we are going to make or break these teams by our support of them.
We have to be proud of this and take pride in all the memories they provided us. While some of us may leave to go to new cities we can still remember our childhood memories from these teams and form national support for them wherever we go.
Currently Arizona and Phoenix have a grand total of one championship from the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks. Many fans still take pride in this and they should.
We have been close in the past to winning even more championships but the Steelers, Bulls, and Celtics all provided some pain in fans’ hearts.
The more championships Phoenix gains the more popular and noticeable our city will be.
With championships comes national attention.
New York, Los Angeles and Phoenix all share teams from the four big sports leagues (NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB) and that provides a great platform for our city to gain more championships.
To shed the identity that Phoenix is a city for snowbirds, a dry heat or a place for retirees we need to gain support for our sports teams and they need to be successful in return.
Without our sports teams Phoenix is still a great city; it is affordable, spread out and has beautiful weather.
But still makes it seem like a place where people either visit or live at when they are retired.
If we continue to have a positive population growth Phoenix can have a national identity as a city that is a blend of cultures, beautiful weather, and successful sports teams.