6 Cities with Longer Championship Droughts than Toronto

Since I wrote last year about the cities with a longer championship drought than Toronto, the Warriors, Royals and Cavs won it all. With championships arriving in Oakland, Kansas City and Cleveland, that brings the list down to six.

Now before we proceed, this entry is about NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB championships. I realize Toronto has had great success in lacrosse and has won Grey Cups recently, but with all due respect, I'm not counting them as major championships. For Toronto, I'm only counting the Maple Leafs, Blue Jays and Raptors.

That means Toronto hasn't won a major championship since 1993. That's a 23 year drought. As bad as that sounds, six cities have it worse.

San Diego

Let's start with San Diego. The Chargers haven't won since 1963, the Padres have never won a World Series, and even their former NBA teams (Rockets and Clippers) didn't win a thing.
53 year drought


Buffalo only has the two teams, but that's enough to count. The Sabres have never won a Stanley Cup and the Bills haven't won since 1965.
51 year drought


The Bucks last won the NBA Championship in 1971 with Lew Alcindor and Oscar Robertson and the Brewers have never won a World Series. I considered disqualifying Milwaukee because the Packers used to play home games there, but that hasn't happened since 1994.
45 year drought


The Bengals have been consistently brutal throughout the years, never winning a title. Meanwhile, the Reds haven't won a World Series since 1990.
26 year drought

Minneapolis-St. Paul

The Vikings have never won a Super Bowl, the North Stars and Wild have never won a Stanley Cup, the Timberwolves have never won and the Twins haven't won a World Series since 1991.
25 year drought


The Bullets / Wizards haven't won since 1978, the Capitals have never won, the Nationals have never won and their NFL franchise hasn't won a Super Bowl since 1992.
24 year drought

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I'm assuming that in order to qualify a city has to have a team in at least two of the mentioned leagues. (Because otherwise, every Canadian city has a longer drought than Toronto.)

June 20, 2016 @ 1:13 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Yes, exactly.

I'm only including cities that have at least two team in either the NHL, NBA, NFL or MLB.

June 20, 2016 @ 1:18 PM


In that case, I would argue that Montreal should be on that list. Sure, the Expos haven't been in MLB in over a decade, but, technically, the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup about four months before the Jays were champions. That's got to at least be partial credit.

June 20, 2016 @ 2:05 PM


The only drought that counts in most of Ontario is the one that is actually going to have a celebration of 50 years next year. People cheering, saying "I was there!" and waving team flags and other swag. Don't kid yourself. There will be a celebration: there was one at the 40 year mark. Utterly pathetic.

Footnote: I was there, sort of, as I lived in what was known as Clarkson at the time, and I remember that I used to watch some hockey, but was certainly not a fan back then, and never had any team gear, according to my dad. I quickly became a Winnipeg Jets fan (we'd moved by then) and grew up with an always-competitive and eventual multiple-championship winning team.

June 20, 2016 @ 2:26 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I can honestly say I was not there. :)


Your suggestion is under review, but it's not looking great.

June 20, 2016 @ 2:29 PM


@ headsup

Well, then you'd have to include Vancouver, too, since they had an NBA team briefly. Their drought would extend to 1915 when the Vancouver Millionaires won the Stanley Cup.

But if you start including Vancouver and Montreal, those cities are handicapped by only having one team to end the drought.

June 20, 2016 @ 2:49 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

The claims to include Montreal and Vancouver have been denied.

June 20, 2016 @ 2:51 PM


@ Toronto Mike

Coincidentally, I believe Bud Selig once wrote that exact sentence.

June 20, 2016 @ 2:57 PM


I did not consider Vancouver as they had an NBA team for the blink of an eye. However, Vancouver won the right to host the 2010 Olympics. Although this may be apples and oranges, getting the Olympics was a great get for the city - almost a victory for Vancouver. I would submit my previous post under protest on the grounds that although the absence of the Expos makes It difficult to accurately compare them in this list, their inclusion does still put Toronto on the better end of tings as we can one-up Montreal.

June 20, 2016 @ 4:58 PM

another steve

Hopefully within the next decade I'll be forced to eat my words, but here's where I'm at...

I have very little confidence in any of our home town teams winning another major championship.

The Blue Jays are 3 games back from 1st, but very inconsistent.
- The bull pen is a train wreck.
- Upper mgmt is new, and unproven, and let's be honest, they seem unsatisfied with many
pieces inherited from Anthopoulis. Change is inevitable.
- Rogers Factor. As owners, they done nothing to inspire confidence in their stewardship for
pro-sports in Toronto. Rarely have they ever had the right people in the right positions at the
right time.
- Our time was last season.

The Raptors just finished their best season ever!
- Yet look how easily Cleveland dismantled them.
- The elite NBA free agents have zero interest in coming to live, work in Canada (high taxes
(double taxation for Americans), cold weather, "foreign money", lack of exposure to the US of
A) NBA is 2nd or 3rd wheel, well behind hockey, could be behind baseball.
- Rogers Factor. Rogers is cheap. They won't pay the big bucks to secure the elite player to wear
a Raptors jersey.
- Destined to be a good team, but will never be an elite team.

The Maple Leafs, well under way in a re-build that has been long overdue, but remain several years away from being truly competitive enough to win Lord Stanley's Cup.
- I don't think management has the temperamint or staying power to ride out the re-build.
- In three/four years the fan base will be restless for success; the media will feed that
restlessness and management will feel the heat and revert back to mismanaging the hockey
ops like Ferguson, Burke and Nonis did.
- Rogers Factor. Rarely has Roger's executives made the right decisions for the right reasons,
they'll fire Shanahan or force him out, thus ending the Shana-Plan.
- Can't get much worse, right, only one way to go, right?

June 20, 2016 @ 5:33 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@another steve

Colour me naive, but I actually believe Rogers / Bell will let Shanahan stick to the Shanplan.

June 20, 2016 @ 6:08 PM

another steve

I view the Rogers/Bell "partnership" as untenable.
Clock's ticking, not sure who blinks first and initiates the buyout.
Too much money at stake, both corps value revenue, both share a corporate mantra that is nothing short of greed - neither corp wants to see the other succeed, and that's not good for our sports teams.

June 20, 2016 @ 7:25 PM


Can't help but notice the city of Cleveland winning a sports championship the first year that Mark Shapiro left town.

June 21, 2016 @ 11:39 AM


It's not really a fair list. Cities like Cincinnati, Buffalo & Cleveland are broke ass towns in the rust belt. They suffer from population decline & a stagnant economy. So not having a winning team for a long time is a little more acceptable. I mean you'd cut Winnipeg some slack right?

But Toronto can claim none of that. One of the richest teams in the world (Leafs), a reasonably robust economy & a diverse population to support a variety of sports. I'd cut Buffalo some slack. I'd be less likely to cut Toronto slack.

My guess is the Raptors will win a championship before the Leafs will. Good on them too. I'd love to see the NBA do well in Toronto. It's definitely a city with a lot of black culture.

June 21, 2016 @ 8:45 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Being a rich team hasn't helped the Leafs since the salary cap was introduced over a decade ago.

June 21, 2016 @ 8:47 PM



Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that salary cap apply to every team & only to players? Does it stop the Leafs from hiring top notch management, coaches, etc? They've still got a lot of advantage over many of their competitors. A team is more than just good players Mike.

And what happened prior to the salary cap?

June 21, 2016 @ 8:56 PM

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