According to this map on Forbes.com, the Quad City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is the 131st largest metro area in the United States. This is as of 2005. I couldn't find our world ranking, but the 400th largest metro area in the world was still over 1 million, so its safe to say we're probably not in the top 500.
So we're the 131st biggest community in the US. Pretty lowly, eh? Logically, we should only have amenities and events that over 100 other cities also have.
Lets look at some things that we have in the Quad Cities.
Bix7. An annual 7 mile road race through the streets of Davenport. According to this website, in 2006 it was the 77th largest timed race in the world, and the 25th largest timed race in America. Both of those figures are (unfortunately for our ranking) only counting people who finish the 7 mile course.
25th largest in the US, 77th largest in the world.
AHL Hockey. There are 30 NHL teams in the only league higher than the AHL. The AHL has 29 teams, with cities such as Milwaukee, Portland, and San Antonio having franchises in the same league as the Quad City Flames.
1 of 59 hockey teams in the top 2 leagues in North America
Gilda's Club. "A community meeting place for people living with cancer, their families and friends," founded by a few people including Gene Wilder, in memory of Gilda Radner.
1 of 22 in the world.
TPC at Deere Run. Tournament Players Club is a chain of American public and private golf clubs operated by the PGA Tour.
1 of 28 in the world.
John Deere Classic. A PGA Tour event held every year in July at the previously mentioned TPC at Deere Run.
1 of 49 tournaments in 2008.
Quad City Airshow -Each year, the show is capped by a performance by either the USAF Thunderbirds or the USN Blue Angels, and once, both. In 2008, the Blue Angels are scheduled to appear 37 times, including simple Fly-Bys. The Thunderbirds are scheduled to appear 39 times.
1 of 76 total Flight Demonstration Team events
Other impressive things:
Da Vinci Exhibit currently at the Putnam. Chicago and Seattle are the only US cities to have this exhibit before us; Houston's next on the tour.
Coexistence exhibit that was here this past Fall. Another exhibit where we were one of very few US stops during a world tour. Looking at list of hosts shows the QCs alongside cities such as Berlin, San Paulo, St. Petersburg, and Jerusalem.
WiMax. An up-and-coming wireless internet technology. QCOnline's ongoing project will make us one of the first areas in the US with WiMax coverage.
Wilco and other tours. Davenport was one of only a dozen or so stops during the US leg of Wilco's world tour. Reading the tour lists of many shows that come to the Adler and iWireless Center show the QC stop being one of the rare communities under a million people to host the show or concert.
And many more! Feel free to suggest your own additions to this list, because I know there are others out there. When people say there's nothing to do in the Quad Cities, they aren't looking hard enough. When our events and amenities put us in a class with metros several times our size, I suggest that's a sure sign of a community with a good quality of life.