Jun 282012
 

The rivalry between Boston and New York is arguably the best in professional sports. To quantify their rivalry, no other cities have met in the playoffs of major professional sports leagues as many times as Boston and New York; a total of 42 times.

Check out the table below which lists all the cities (metro areas) that have met in the playoffs five times or more.

Important Notes:

When compiling the data to create the list below, I only counted the metro area the team was from. For example the New York Giants are listed as being from New York City. But since 1976, their primary home has been the city of East Rutherford, NJ, which is a part of the NYC metro area.

I only counted the primary home of a team. For example, the Kansas City-Omaha Kings were counted as a team from Kansas City, MO.

The inclusion of Akron might be a surprise to some. The Cleveland Cavaliers former arena was in Richfield, OH, which is part of the Akron metro area.

Playoff series were counted as one matchup…

Playoff series were counted as one matchup in the sports of pro baseball, basketball, and hockey. Thus wins in those sports don’t represent individual game wins, but series wins. In the rare case of a series that ended in a tie, I listed the team that advanced or was declared the league champion the winner of the series.

Only includes official playoff games. MLB tie-breakers or unofficial championships weren’t tallied.

Leagues/years included:

Baseball (BB): MLB (1903-)

Basketball (BK): NBA (1947-), ABA (1968-1976)

Football (FB): NFL (1933-), AAFC (1946-1949), AFL (1960-1969)

Note: The NFL’s first official playoff wasn’t until 1933.

Hockey (HK): NHL (1918-), WHA (1973-1979)

Note: I included Stanley Cup matchups that featured NHL teams vs. opponents from other leagues.

 

The city with the winning record in the matchup was listed in the first column. In the case of ties, the city first in the alphabet was listed.

The BB, BK, FB, HK columns represent the number of times the cities met in those respective sports. The last column represents the last season they met.

Columns can be sorted by clicking on the titles in the header. You can search for a specific city using the search box to the right.

Tally of Playoff Matchups by Cities in Professional Sports

Cityvs. CityMatchupsWonLostW PctBBLastBKLastFBLastHKLast
New York (NY)Boston (MA)4222200.5246200416201152011152003
Montreal (QB)Boston (MA)3525100.714352011
Philadelphia (PA)New York (NY)3520150.571520097198942008192012
New York (NY)New York (NY)34---14200032004172012
Chicago (IL)New York (NY)2818100.64331938819988199091979
Detroit (MI)Chicago (IL)2513120.5204194562007152009
Boston (MA)Philadelphia (PA)241770.708219151520121200462011
Detroit (MI)Toronto (ON)2412120.50012002231993
Montreal (QB)New York (NY)2412120.500241997
New York (NY)Montreal (QB)2412120.500241997
Toronto (ON)Detroit (MI)2412120.50012002231993
New York (NY)Washington (DC)2313100.565219334198221986152012
New York (NY)Los Angeles (CA)211290.57192009420023198952012
Boston (MA)Los Angeles (CA)191540.789520091120101198521977
Montreal (QB)Chicago (IL)191360.684191976
New York (NY)San Francisco (CA)181080.55662001122011
New York (NY)Toronto (ON)181080.55632007152002
St. Louis (MO)Minneapolis (MN)181080.55611987619602199991991
Montreal (QB)Toronto (ON)17980.529171979
Pittsburgh (PA)New York (NY)171070.5882196022010132008
Detroit (MI)New York (NY)161150.68822011620041193571995
Boston (MA)Chicago (IL)151050.66722005520091198571978
Boston (MA)Detroit (MI)15960.6008200871957
Detroit (MI)Montreal (QB)15960.600151978
Los Angeles (CA)Phoenix (AZ)151050.66713201022012
Los Angeles (CA)Dallas (TX)15960.600520118198522008
New York (NY)Baltimore (MD)151050.667320128197342000
Cleveland (OH)New York (NY)14860.571520074200751986
Detroit (MI)Los Angeles (CA)13760.538520041195272009
Los Angeles (CA)Minneapolis (MN)13760.53822002220046198832007
Philadelphia (PA)Chicago (IL)13760.53821929420125200122010
Toronto (ON)Boston (MA)13850.615131974
Detroit (MI)St. Louis (MO)12660.500320062196372002
Houston (TX)Los Angeles (CA)12660.50011981920091196011973
Los Angeles (CA)Denver (CO)121020.833820121199332006
Los Angeles (CA)San Francisco (CA)12930.75032002719911198911969
Los Angeles (CA)San Antonio (TX)12840.667122012
Miami (FL)New York (NY)12660.50012003720121198232012
New York (NY)Indianapolis (IN)12750.5839200632010
Boston (MA)Buffalo (NY)11920.818219761196382010
Chicago (IL)St. Louis (MO)11740.63611967102002
Chicago (IL)Washington (DC)11650.5454200571987
Los Angeles (CA)Portland (OR)11920.818112002
Los Angeles (CA)Chicago (IL)11740.63632008519912198511974
Los Angeles (CA)Philadelphia (PA)11650.545520094200121989
St. Louis (MO)Los Angeles (CA)11650.54532009419661197532012
Toronto (ON)Chicago (IL)11740.63611993101995
Boston (MA)St. Louis (MO)10730.70032004419611200121972
New York (NY)Minneapolis (MN)10730.70042010219533200011981
Philadelphia (PA)Milwaukee (WI)10730.7001200892001
Philadelphia (PA)Buffalo (NY)10640.6001197692011
Philadelphia (PA)Washington (DC)10550.500519861199042008
San Antonio (TX)Phoenix (AZ)10640.600102010
Boston (MA)Pittsburgh (PA)9630.667119034200441992
Boston (MA)Cleveland (OH)9540.55652007220101199411973
Chicago (IL)Minneapolis (MN)9540.556219501199461991
Dallas (TX)San Francisco (CA)9540.556120101200771994
Los Angeles (CA)Seattle (WA)9630.6677199821984
New York (NY)Atlanta (GA)9810.88941999219991201122007
New York (NY)Buffalo (NY)9540.5562199072007
Pittsburgh (PA)Washington (DC)9810.8891192582009
St. Louis (MO)New York (NY)9540.556720061197511981
Syracuse (NY)Philadelphia (PA)9540.55691962
Boston (MA)Indianapolis (IN)8530.6255200532006
Boston (MA)Syracuse (NY)8440.50081961
Dallas (TX)Denver (CO)8530.625320091197742006
Dallas (TX)Minneapolis (MN)8530.6251200272009
Edmonton (AB)Los Angeles (CA)8620.75082006
Edmonton (AB)Winnipeg (MB)8620.75081990
Los Angeles (CA)Salt Lake City (UT)8440.50082010
Philadelphia (PA)Toronto (ON)8620.750119931200162004
San Francisco (CA)Minneapolis (MN)8620.7502200661997
St. Louis (MO)Philadelphia (PA)8530.62532011219481200121969
Boston (MA)Atlanta (GA)7701.00072012
Boston (MA)San Francisco (CA)7430.571420031196422001
Chicago (IL)Miami (FL)7430.5711200362011
Denver (CO)Pittsburgh (PA)7430.57172011
Detroit (MI)Cleveland (OH)7430.5713200941957
Green Bay (WI)New York (NY)7430.57172011
Miami (FL)Boston (MA)7430.571320123199711996
Minneapolis (MN)Rochester (NY)7610.85771955
Montreal (QB)Buffalo (NY)7430.57171998
Montreal (QB)Philadelphia (PA)7430.5711198162010
New York (NY)Milwaukee (WI)7430.5713198142003
Philadelphia (PA)Atlanta (GA)7610.85711993219823200411974
Philadelphia (PA)Pittsburgh (PA)7520.7141194762012
Philadelphia (PA)Tampa (FL)7430.571120084200222004
Phoenix (AZ)Portland (OR)7430.57172010
Pittsburgh (PA)Baltimore (MD)7701.0002197952010
Pittsburgh (PA)San Francisco (CA)7520.714119715197611970
Salt Lake City (UT)Houston (TX)7520.71472008
San Francisco (CA)Miami (FL)7430.5712200352000
Seattle (WA)Houston (TX)7520.7146199711987
Atlanta (GA)Houston (TX)6420.6675200511979
Atlanta (GA)Detroit (MI)6330.5005199911978
Baltimore (MD)San Francisco (CA)6330.5003197432000
Boston (MA)Washington (DC)6330.5003198432012
Calgary (AB)Vancouver (BC)6420.66762004
Chicago (IL)Atlanta (GA)6420.6672200342011
Cincinnati (OH)Pittsburgh (PA)6420.6675199012005
Dallas (TX)Edmonton (AB)6510.83362003
Dallas (TX)Green Bay (WI)6420.66761995
Denver (CO)Detroit (MI)6330.50062008
Detroit (MI)Dallas (TX)6420.667120112199132008
Detroit (MI)Washington (DC)6330.500219883199911998
Green Bay (WI)San Francisco (CA)6510.83362001
Los Angeles (CA)Vancouver (BC)6420.66762012
Minneapolis (MN)Washington (DC)6330.5001194951992
Montreal (QB)Ottawa (ON)6420.66761928
New York (NY)Cincinnati (OH)6510.8334197622009
New York (NY)Dallas (TX)6510.833420101200712000
New York (NY)Kansas City (MO)6420.6674198021986
New York (NY)Ottawa (ON)6330.50062012
Portland (OR)Salt Lake City (UT)6420.66762000
San Antonio (TX)Denver (CO)6510.83362007
San Francisco (CA)Detroit (MI)7430.571320122197721983
Syracuse (NY)New York (NY)6420.66761959
Toronto (ON)Ottawa (ON)6510.83362004
Baltimore (MD)Cleveland (OH)5320.6002199731971
Boston (MA)Houston (TX)5410.8004198611978
Boston (MA)Milwaukee (WI)5410.80051987
Chicago (IL)Akron (OH)5501.00051994
Chicago (IL)Vancouver (BC)5320.60052011
Denver (CO)Phoenix (AZ)5320.600120073198912000
Detroit (MI)Philadelphia (PA)5410.800320081199511997
Edmonton (AB)Calgary (AB)5410.80051991
Houston (TX)San Diego (CA)5410.800119982197921976
Indianapolis (IN)Denver (CO)5501.0003197522004
Indianapolis (IN)Louisville (KY)5320.60051976
Los Angeles (CA)Atlanta (GA)5410.800119962197021977
Los Angeles (CA)Calgary (AB)5320.60052006
Minneapolis (MN)Fort Wayne (IN)5410.80051957
Montreal (QB)Hartford (CT)5501.00051992
Montreal (QB)Quebec City (QB)5320.60051993
Philadelphia (PA)Minneapolis (MN)5501.0003200821980
Philadelphia (PA)Cincinnati (OH)5320.6002201031967
Pittsburgh (PA)Buffalo (NY)5410.8003199522001
Rochester (NY)Fort Wayne (IN)5320.60051954
Salt Lake City (UT)Denver (CO)5320.60052010
Salt Lake City (UT)San Antonio (TX)5320.60052012
San Antonio (TX)Dallas (TX)5320.60052010
San Francisco (CA)Chicago (IL)5501.000119891197531994
San Francisco (CA)Cincinnati (OH)5410.8002199031988
San Francisco (CA)St. Louis (MO)5410.8002200231968
San Francisco (CA)Washington (DC)5410.8001197541992
San Jose (CA)Detroit (MI)5320.60052011
St. Louis (MO)Atlanta (GA)5320.6004201212004
St. Louis (MO)Toronto (ON)5320.60051996

Check out the table below which lists all the cities (metro areas) that have met in “world” championships three times or more.

Tally of Championship Matchups by Cities in Professional Sports

City (Metro Area)vs. City (Metro Area)MatchupsWonLostW PctBBLastBKLastFBLastHKLast
New York (NY)New York (NY)14---142000
Boston (MA)Los Angeles (CA)11830.727112010
Los Angeles (CA)New York (NY)10550.500419814200222012
Boston (MA)St. Louis (MO)9630.66732004419611200111970
Chicago (IL)New York (NY)9540.5563193861963
Boston (MA)New York (NY)7430.571319862201121972
Montreal (QB)Boston (MA)7701.00071978
Toronto (ON)Detroit (MI)7610.85771964
Chicago (IL)Detroit (MI)6420.6674194521961
Montreal (QB)Toronto (ON)6330.50061967
New York (NY)Philadelphia (PA)6420.6675200911980
Philadelphia (PA)Chicago (IL)6420.66721929119472194812010
Baltimore (MD)New York (NY)5320.6001196942000
Detroit (MI)Montreal (QB)5320.60051966
Green Bay (WI)New York (NY)5410.80051962
Los Angeles (CA)Philadelphia (PA)5320.6004200111949
Montreal (QB)Chicago (IL)5501.00051973
St. Louis (MO)New York (NY)5320.60051964
Boston (MA)Philadelphia (PA)4310.750219151200411974
Chicago (IL)Washington (DC)4220.50041943
Cleveland (OH)New York (NY)4310.7502195421947
Detroit (MI)Cleveland (OH)4310.75041957
Detroit (MI)New York (NY)4310.7501193531995
San Francisco (CA)Cincinnati (OH)4310.7502199021988
Washington (DC)Chicago (IL)4220.50041943
Cleveland (OH)Los Angeles (CA)3210.66731955
Dallas (TX)Buffalo (NY)3301.0002199311999
Dallas (TX)Miami (FL)3210.6672201111971
Detroit (MI)Los Angeles (CA)3210.66732004
Los Angeles (CA)San Francisco (CA)3210.66732002
Minneapolis (MN)New York (NY)3210.6672195311981
Montreal (QB)Calgary (AB)3210.66731989
New York (NY)Cincinnati (OH)3210.66731976
New York (NY)Denver (CO)3210.667119761198612001
New York (NY)San Francisco (CA)3210.6672197311968
New York (NY)Toronto (ON)3210.66731940
Pittsburgh (PA)Dallas (TX)3210.66731995
Pittsburgh (PA)Detroit (MI)3210.6671190922009
St. Louis (MO)Detroit (MI)3210.66732006


Below is a listing of how cities (metro areas) from the same state or province have fared against each other in the playoffs.

Tally of Playoff Matchups by Intrastate Cities in Professional Sports

City (Metro Area)vs. City (Metro Area)MatchupsWonLostW PctBBLastBKLastFBLastHKLast
Los Angeles (CA)San Francisco (CA)12930.75032002719911198911969
New York (NY) ¹Buffalo (NY)9540.5562199072007
Philadelphia (PA)Pittsburgh (PA)7520.7141194762012
Syracuse (NY)New York (NY)6420.66761959
Toronto (ON)Ottawa (ON)6510.83362004
Edmonton (AB)Calgary (AB)5410.80051991
Montreal (QB)Quebec City (QB)5320.60051993
San Antonio (TX)Dallas (TX)5320.60052010
Dallas (TX)Houston (TX)4401.0003200511962
Houston (TX)San Antonio (TX)3301.00031995
Los Angeles (CA)Sacramento (CA)3301.00032002
Los Angeles (CA)San Jose (CA)2110.50022011
San Francisco (CA)San Diego (CA)2201.00021994
Anderson (IN)Indianapolis (IN)1101.00011950
Jacksonville (FL)Miami (FL)1101.00011999
Kansas City (MO)St. Louis (MO)1101.00011985
Miami (FL)Orlando (FL)1101.00011997
Rochester (NY)New York (NY)1101.00011951

¹ Includes teams from the New Jersey part of the New York metro area.

Additional Info

New York has met the most cities (metro areas) in the playoffs; 44 different cities in total. Followed by Boston (41 cities), Chicago (41 cities) and Los Angeles (41 cities).

From 1978-1987 (10 seasons), the cities of New York and Philadelphia met in the playoffs. It’s the most consecutive years two cities have met in the playoffs of major professional sports leagues.

There are 23 city vs. city matchups that have encompassed all the four major sports included in this study.

Playoff Matchups in All Four Sports # of Matchups
City (Metro Area) vs. City (Metro Area) BB Last BK Last FB Last HK Last
Atlanta (GA) New York (NY) 4 1999 2 1999 1 2011 2 2007
Atlanta (GA) Philadelphia (PA) 1 1993 2 1982 3 2004 1 1974
Boston (MA) Chicago (IL) 2 2005 5 2009 1 1985 7 1978
Boston (MA) Cleveland (OH) 5 2007 2 2010 1 1994 1 1973
Boston (MA) Los Angeles (CA) 5 2009 11 2010 1 1985 2 1977
Boston (MA) New York (NY) 6 2004 16 2011 5 2011 15 2003
Boston (MA) Philadelphia (PA) 2 1915 15 2012 1 2004 6 2011
Boston (MA) St. Louis (MO) 3 2004 4 1961 1 2001 2 1972
Chicago (IL) Los Angeles (CA) 3 2008 5 1991 2 1985 1 1974
Chicago (IL) New York (NY) 3 1938 8 1998 8 1990 9 1979
Chicago (IL) Philadelphia (PA) 2 1929 4 2012 5 2001 2 2010
Detroit (MI) New York (NY) 2 2011 6 2004 1 1935 7 1995
Houston (TX) Los Angeles (CA) 1 1981 9 2009 1 1960 1 1973
Los Angeles (CA) Minneapolis (MN) 2 2002 2 2004 6 1988 3 2007
Los Angeles (CA) New York (NY) 9 2009 4 2002 3 1989 5 2012
Los Angeles (CA) San Francisco (CA) 3 2002 7 1991 1 1989 1 1969
Los Angeles (CA) St. Louis (MO) 3 2009 4 1966 1 1975 3 2012
Miami (FL) New York (NY) 1 2003 7 2012 1 1982 3 2012
Minneapolis (MN) New York (NY) 4 2010 2 1953 3 2000 1 1981
Minneapolis (MN) St. Louis (MO) 1 1987 6 1960 2 1999 9 1991
New York (NY) Philadelphia (PA) 5 2009 7 1989 4 2008 19 2012
New York (NY) Washington (DC) 2 1933 4 1982 2 1986 15 2012
Philadelphia (PA) St. Louis (MO) 3 2011 2 1948 1 2001 2 1969

Boston vs. St. Louis and Chicago vs. Philadelphia are the only city vs. city matchups that have encompassed all four sports in “world” championships.

Championship Matchups in All Four Sports # of Matchups
City (Metro Area) vs. City (Metro Area) BB Last BK Last FB Last HK Last
Boston (MA) St. Louis (MO) 3 2004 4 1961 1 2001 1 1970
Chicago (IL) Philadelphia (PA) 2 1929 1 1947 2 1948 1 2010

The record for most playoff matchups between two cities in the same year is three matchups. It has happened four times.

Most Playoff Matchups by Cities in the Same Year

1986 – New York (NY) vs. Washington (DC)
Sport Round Won Lost
Hockey Division Semifinals Washington Capitals New York Islanders
Hockey Division Finals New York Rangers Washington Capitals
Football Conference Championship New York Giants Washington Redskins
1994 – New York (NY) vs. New York (NY)
Sport Round Won Lost
Basketball Conference Quarterfinals New York Knicks New Jersey Nets
HK Conference Quarterfinals New York Rangers New York Islanders
HK Conference Finals New York Rangers New Jersey Devils
1999 – Atlanta (GA) vs. New York (NY)
Sport Round Won Lost
Basketball Conference Semifinals New York Knicks Atlanta Hawks
Baseball National League Championship Atlanta Braves New York Mets
Baseball World Series New York Yankees Atlanta Braves
2003 – Boston (MA) vs. New York (NY)
Sport Round Won Lost
Hockey Conference Quarterfinals New Jersey Devils Boston Bruins
Basketball Conference Semifinals New Jersey Nets Boston Celtics
Baseball American League Championship New York Yankees Boston Red Sox

Note: The cities of Miami and New York have already met twice in the playoffs this year.

Sources: Sports-Reference.com (BBBKFBHK)

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