The Athletic

If there was any doubt remaining that The Athletic had designs to establish a presence in every major North American market, there shouldn’t be anymore.

On Wednesday, the ever-growing site announced plans for coverage in three more cities

  • Mariners coverage in Seattle
  • Lightning coverage in Tampa
  • Rockies, Broncos, and Nuggets coverage in Denver

With this announcement, The Athletic now has a presence in 19 American markets, as well as seven Canadian ones, with more apparently to come.

In the replies on its announcement tweet, The Athletic dropped some hints about where it might expand to next. A fan asked about a Wisconsin site, and…

Another fan inquired about Boston, and…

Yet another wondered about Salt Lake City, and…

So yeah, it’s clear that The Athletic is far from done expanding.

As of now, The Athletic has at least some presence in 10 of the 13 cities with teams in all four major sports, with the only exceptions being Boston, Miami, and Washington D.C. Other notable markets without Athletic coverage include Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Nashville, and Indianapolis, but at this point it wouldn’t be wise to bet against the site venturing to any or all of them.

The Athletic’s newest hubs all have something in common: Denver, Tampa, and Seattle are all now more or less one-newspaper towns whose local publications have been decimated by layoffs in recent years. The Tampa Bay Times has eliminated hundreds of jobs since buying the Tampa Tribune in 2016. The Seattle Times let go of or bought out several dozen employees last year. Most recently, the Denver Post just cut nearly a third of its newsroom in a bloody round of layoffs.

Given the direction of those papers, it seems that whether or not The Athletic succeeds in bleeding out local publications, it will be happy to step into markets that are already losing blood. All three of the announced writers for The Athletic Denver, for example, are defecting from the Post.  Not long ago, the idea of top reporters leaving legacy newspapers for a two-year-old digital start-up would have seemed ridiculous. Now, it’s the status quo.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.