(NEXSTAR) – Americans are crazy about their sports, but some of us wag our foam fingers a little harder than others.
A new study from WalletHub has allegedly determined the best “sports cities” in the country, scoring each metropolitan area in terms of its favorable conditions for football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and soccer fans.
Boston, perhaps not surprisingly, ranked as the top overall “sports city” in the country, earning relatively high scores in dozens of key metrics including team performance, franchise value, fan engagement, and attendance, among others. Los Angeles came in second — earning particularly high marks in its basketball and soccer categories — followed by New York City, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia.
In addition to its overall rankings, WalletHub’s 2021 study also determined the best “sports cities” for mid-size and smaller regions specifically, with Buffalo, New York, and Clemson, South Carolina, coming out on top, respectively.
To determine this year’s findings, WalletHub assigned each sport a weight that corresponded with the percentage of U.S. adults who claimed to be fans, as determined by a 2014 report from Sporting News Media. Football was given a total weight of 50%, basketball was given 31%, baseball was given 27%, hockey was given 15% and soccer was given 9%. (The total is greater than 100% because some respondents claimed to follow multiple sports, according to WalletHub.)
Utilizing previous study results for each specific sport, the analysts at WalletHub assigned each city (392 in total) a score based on specific metrics for each sport, taking into account such things as championships, ticket prices, Hall of Fame inductees, etc. The weighted averages were used to determine which cities reigned supreme for fans of college or professional teams.
“Winning is great, but die-hard fans are at the heart of any good sports city,” said Windy Dees, an expert who spoke with WalletHub ahead of its 2021 rankings. “When people passionately support the hometown team(s) through the ups and downs of competition, that feeling reverberates throughout the city and the sport.”
WalletHub’s top 20 “sports cities” of 2021, overall, can be found below.
|2||Los Angeles, California|
|3||New York, New York|
|11||San Francisco, California|
|18||New Orleans, Louisiana|
While Tampa didn’t crack the top 20, it came in just a few spots later at No. 25 with an overall score of 24.78.
A full ranking of all the cities studied, as well as the study’s methodology, can be found at WalletHub.com.