OT- Why do Athletes live outside of the cities they play in?

Submitted by woodsonfromleaf97 on March 30th, 2010 at 10:23 PM

I live in Philly and whenever I read a more personal article about an athlete that plays for one of the teams here they always mention that he lives in New Jersey or the Mainline. Does anyone have any insight/opinions on why this is? And is it the same for teams everywhere or specific to Philly?


OMG Shirtless

March 30th, 2010 at 10:41 PM ^

Can you think of any reason on earth anyone would actually want to live in the actual city of Detroit if they didn't have to?

There was a story a year or so back about one of the Cubs pitchers, I want to say Dempster but I think that's wrong. Anyway, he lived just down the road in Wrigleyville walking distance from Wrigley Field and used to stop at the Friday evening BBQs/Cornhole games on the walk back home after the Friday day games have a beer and shoot the shit.

Edit: Here's the article, obviously it's old.


March 31st, 2010 at 8:34 AM ^

Alan Trammel, the Cubs' bench coach makes the same walk to and from games. There was an article on him a while back too... Maybe last summer when the Cubs came to Detroit, talked about Tiger Stadium coming down, and how Trammel loves walking to work every day.

I'll look for it, but if anyone else finds it, please post.


March 31st, 2010 at 9:57 AM ^

I live in wrigley and know of a few Cub's homes in the area. Obviously a lot of them have secondary homes for the colder months, but I've passed Theriot's place in LP a few times. Zambrano's is not too far from that. Dempster is in the area as well. A lot of guys have places in River North, but that's a ways from the stadium.


March 30th, 2010 at 10:31 PM ^

People who play in Philly and live in Jersey boils down to taxes. Penn is a commonwealth state so taxes are different. Jersey probably has a more favorable tax situation for the players. Even though commonwealths do vary quite a bit. Bengals players live in northern Kentucky because their tax situation is much more favorable in the commonwealth of Kentucky! Hope this makes sense!


March 30th, 2010 at 10:31 PM ^

Some cities/counties have income taxes that can be substantial. This doesn't even include property taxes or anything else they might get nailed for.


March 30th, 2010 at 10:31 PM ^

Even on their salaries and with real estate in the tank, they can't afford to buy a house every time they are traded.

Not much quality of life for their kids either.

Nothing against Philly or Detroit, but if you were a multi millionaire - would you make your full time home in either of them?

Rent a house, do charity work, run camps, do the PR stuff, etc... but probably not live there.


March 31st, 2010 at 6:25 PM ^

I lived in Philly for about 18 months. Out of all the places that I've lived/visited (lived in South Carolina, Ann Arbor, Pittsburgh, DC, visited countless other U.S. cities and about 15 countries), Philly has some of the rudest people I've ever seen. People there can be nice sometimes, but the city seems to pride itself on being full of a-holes. It's funny, because it's not something the city is ashamed of, it's something that they identify with.

For example: I once got the finger and ran off the road for stopping at a stop sign; I once got honked at, cut off and ran off the road after stopping at a red light; I was treated to a racial slur for paying for toothpaste with a $20 bill at a center city walgreens; I hosted out-of-towners one night, and just when they asked "so how do you like Philly?", a homeless guy came out of the shadows and said "I'm going to f-ing kill you" (that was at 10:30 pm in a supposedly "safe area")...and these are just to name a few...

And now there are kids that show up downtown in flash mobs by the hundreds, attack random pedestrians and business owners for no reason.

So yeah, Philly sucks.


March 30th, 2010 at 10:32 PM ^

Doesn't Jim Leyland 'live' in Pittsburgh and have a hotel room in Detroit (or its suburbs)?

Why uproot a family for a year or two or more if they are rooted and one never knows how long one will work/play/manage in a city? In addition, a pro athlete/manager is home only 1/2 the season, and can off-season most anywhere...

If I had the talent to be pro athlete/coach and were paid well by any team, I'd be interested in setting up my real home in any place I was happy with, and commute as the season dictacted.

College is way different, but pro athletes have little reason to be loyal to geography (in most cases).

Zone Left

March 30th, 2010 at 10:44 PM ^

I think it depends on the player, but the majority of them live in the city or within commuting distance, but many have second homes near family for the offseason.

The young (not top) players have bachelor pads in nicer apartment buildings. Three Chargers lived in the same building I did in La Jolla a few years ago, and it wasn't that nice.


March 30th, 2010 at 10:54 PM ^

Not many people want to live in a city like Detroit, especially if they have family. It also depends on the sport. I know many of the older vets on the Lions roster live in Northville with their families. For example, Keith Smith (former Lion now 49er CB) lives in Northville and stays in a hotel in San Fran. Dewayne White lives in Northville as does Jerome Felton. Drew Stanton and Nate Robertson live in Canton. Then you look at Dave Moss from the Calgary Flames and he used to live in a rented condo in Canton but is now moving to Commerce Township. It really just depends on the individual and if they have family or not.


March 31st, 2010 at 7:45 PM ^

The city of Detroit's an underrated place to spend time in, but I'd have second thoughts about actually living there. It's not just the crappy schools (and city services in general). A lot of amenities suburbanites take for granted are missing. If you need to go to the grocery store, the nearest one is probably in the suburbs. Need to go to a Best Buy/Circuit City type of store? In the suburbs. Going clothes shopping? There's not much in the city. Want to join a fitness center? Your best options, again, are probably in the suburbs. Want to hang out in a coffee shop? There's a couple downtown and that's about it. Detroit really needs to find a way to get these kinds of businesses back in the city if it really wants to be a livable place.


March 31st, 2010 at 12:13 AM ^

I've heard a lot of athletes have a residence in FL b/c there is no state income tax! Well, at least the ones that can afford it.

Then again, isn't there some crazy rule with regard to state income tax that is dependent on where the game is played? For instance, even if your a team member of the Falcons (I'm from the ATL), if you play a game in Philly, you have to report that as income from PA?

I guess it could be that you'd have to pay both a state income tax on where you played and where you claim residence?!

I'm not tax attorney... so, FWIW.


March 31st, 2010 at 7:52 AM ^

That's pretty much the same as where any well paid professional working in Philadelphia would live - NJ or the mainline west of the city. Probably can't fault an athlete for wanting the same thing - quiet, suburban schools etc. Philadelphia isn't that large of a city so you aren't far away in those suburbs.

Six Zero

March 31st, 2010 at 8:29 AM ^

You can afford to live in the affluent communities-- why would you live down on Broad Street or South Street when you can get yourself a mansion on a handful of acres out in Exton or Chadd's Ford, away from all the hoopla?

Real Estate, son, real estate...


March 31st, 2010 at 9:13 AM ^

With the money these guys make, they can live anywhere they chose. Why would you want to live for example in Philly when you can afford to live in the Bala Cynwyd or the King of Prussia. Allan Iverson likes the Hilton on Cityline Ave because it is close to his posse and he has access to whatever illegal substances he requires.


March 31st, 2010 at 9:52 AM ^

My uncle used to see Ben Wallace and Barry Sanders all the time in Rochester Hills, and they seemed to like the quietness of the suburbs. As others have mentioned, having kids also changes it, as does the prospect of being traded all the time. And even in "cool" cities like New York, Boston, LA, etc., most guys with families live in the suburbs. The bachelors live wherever they want, but even they tend to flow to the more open areas surrounding where they play.

st barth

March 31st, 2010 at 9:52 AM ^

Considering that many athletes (but not all of them) qualify as "rich people", they often have multiple houses. Factoring in travel schedules, it's debatable that these people actually ever live in one place. It's kind of mind-blowing to realize how much of the high-end, luxury real estate sits empty 90% of the time.

Even for the less wealthy among us, there are a myriad of factors in choosing where to live. Taxes and school districts can be part of it. And although the school district of Detroit (for example) may be a discouragement to some parents, most wealthy parents will simply send their children to private schools anyhow. After all, it's not as if the public school districts of cities like Chicago and New York are attracting the children of the wealthy. Those kids find there way into private schools.

There's also the factor of just what city some of these teams are playing in. For example, the Detroit Pistons are in Auburn Hills. Whereas a few decades ago it was the popular notion that the poor lived in cities while the wealthy fled to suburban dwellings (maybe the Pistons were living in Auburn Hills), more recently the trend and the perception has reversed considerably. Real estate in urban cores like NYC and Chicago has increased in value considerably while suburbs have begun to stagnate. Admittedly, Michigan still seems to be an exception to this. But whereas the wealth of cities once centered on production, now it revolves around consumption...and Detroit (despite the recent boom in casinos & stadiums) is still lacking in amenities to feed this appetite.

In short, I have no idea why athletes don't live in the same town because each of them probably do it for their own reasons. But I suspect that as long as they continue to negotiate large multimillion dollar contracts that probably many of them will be spending more time on private jets than anywhere else.