According to ESPN, Columbus was the second highest market across the country to watch Lebron's announcement to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 14.2 rating delivered by Central Ohio television watchers was ahead of his destination city of Miami (12.8) and top candidate cities like Chicago (10.7) and New York (10.4). Cleveland lead the way of course with a 26.0 metered market rating.
The fact that so many people in Columbus cared about the outcome should be no surprise. The city's geographic proximity to Ohio's only professional basketball team, coupled with it's huge population of Northern Ohio transplants (many of whom came to go to Ohio State and never left) made for high drama around town last night.
And although the impact of Lebron leaving the Cleveland (and Akron/Canton) market has been well documented, few people realize that just 100 miles to the south a massive army of followers were left disappointed and dismayed as well. There is now one less reason for tens of thousands of people to head up and down I-71 with wallets full of cash, restaurants to visit, games to see, and merchandise to buy.