By Gene Kershner
Buffalo loves its horse racing, especially the Kentucky Derby.
In the overall market rankings released by the NBC Sports Communications department, the Buffalo market ranked sixth overall with a 15.9 rating and 33 share. These are improvements over last years' numbers where Buffalo finished tied for fourth with three other cities with a 13.4 rating and a 27 share, showing increases of 18.7 percent and 22.2 percent, respectively.
Overall according to the Daily Racing Form, NBC's overall ratings on the Derby was up 15 percent from 20 up to 23 for this year's Run for the Roses. Overall share also increased from 9.0 to 10.5, a 16.7 percent increase over 2012. Attendance for the event was down 8.3 percent due mainly to the heavy rain that engulfed the Louisville area on Saturday.
Trailing markets with deep horse racing roots like host city Louisville and nearby Cincinnati and Knoxville shows the demand that horse racing has locally. The only markets ahead of us outside of regions near Louisville are located in Florida. Both the Ft. Myers-Naples (second) and West Palm Beach (fifth) markets with plenty of Buffalo transplants were higher than the B-lo.
Some markets that we finished ahead of include Baltimore (15), which hosts the next jewel of the Triple Crown, Washington (18), New York (22), Philadelphia (27) and Chicago (30), all areas with race tracks and large populations.
In the past our Top 10 ranking has held up during the Preakness, where we finished fifth last year. We'll see if our fair city can continue to hold up against the larger markets.
Here's a look at the top 10 markets:
|Ft. Myers - Naples||2||19.7||37|
|West Palm Beach||5||18.4||35|
|(source: NBC Sports - Communications)|