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Phoenix's Other Drought: Pro Sports Teams Soon to Pass Two Years With No Playoff Games

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Drought conditions are quite common in Phoenix, but don't forget about the other drought: It's been nearly two years since one of Phoenix's pro sports teams in the four major sports has been in the playoffs.

So far this year, the Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, and Phoenix Coyotes each finished their seasons one spot out of playoff contention. Vince Marotta, one of the talkers on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, pointed out that Phoenix's playoff drought is the longest among the 12 markets with teams in all four sports.

The last Phoenix playoff game was the Coyotes' loss to the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Finals on May 22, 2012.

That may not seem like that long ago, and there are only 11 other markets with all four teams to compare playoff droughts with. However, if you compare it with any city in the United States, the drought looks a lot worse -- there are only four cities with playoff droughts longer than Phoenix, and only two with substantially longer droughts.

Salt Lake City, which is home only to the Utah Jazz, hasn't experienced the playoffs since a loss in early May 2012, two weeks before the Coyotes' last playoff game.

Nashville, which is home to the NHL's Predators and the NFL's Titans, hasn't experienced a playoff game since May 7, 2012, when the Predators were knocked out of the playoffs by the Coyotes. However, a three-hour drive away, Tennessee's only professional basketball team, the Memphis Grizzlies, has made the playoffs this year.

That leaves only two American cities with substantially longer droughts -- Buffalo and Jacksonville.

Jacksonville has only one pro sports team, the Jaguars, a team that hasn't seen the playoffs since 2008.

Buffalo, home to the NFL's Bills and the NHL's Sabres, hasn't had a team in the playoffs since the Sabres lost in the first round in the 2011 playoffs.

Every other American city with a pro sports team, including Cleveland, Columbus, Houston, San Diego, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, and more has had a more recent playoff team than Phoenix. (Orlando's only pro sports team, the NBA's Magic, last played a playoff game on May 8, 2012. However, less than an hour drive away, multiple Tampa teams have made the playoffs since then.)

So, comparatively, it's been a while for Phoenix.

Here are the last playoff games of each team:

  • Phoenix Coyotes: May 22, 2012
  • Arizona Diamondbacks: October 7, 2011
  • Phoenix Suns: May 29, 2010
  • Arizona Cardinals: January 16, 2010

The next opportunity for a playoff team would be the Diamondbacks this fall. However, if you've watched the Diamondbacks, which have started off to a 4-12 record, it seems improbable, although stranger things have happened.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.

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