2016’s Best & Worst Sports Cities: The Data From WalletHub

Each year WalletHub tosses us their annual rankings regarding the best sports cities. 2016 is no different, this year comparing 423 small to large cities across 50 key metrics.

The data ranges from “performance level of the city’s team(s)” to “average ticket price per game.” And if you love data, there’s plenty to sift through.

Just a few notes on why this data is fascinating:

–Nearly three in four adults claim to be sports fans in the U.S.

–Those fans spend an average of 8 hours per week watching their sport or 11 hours playing it.

–$60 billion is spent on tickets, merch sales, media rights and sponsorship fees each year in North American sports.

Key fascinating finds:

Best vs. Worst

Stillwater, Okla., has one of the highest minimum season-ticket prices for a college football (FBS and FCS) game, $400, which is 16 times higher than in East Lansing, Mich., the city with the lowest, $25.

New York has the highest average ticket price for an NBA game, $97.77, which is 3.2 times higher than in New Orleans, the city with the lowest, $30.20.

NHL fans in Pittsburgh are 27 times friendlier and more engaged than their New York counterparts.

Dallas has the highest NFL popularity-index rank, whereas Jacksonville, Fla., has the lowest.

Boston has the highest average MLB season-ticket price, $54.79, which is three times higher than in Phoenix, the city with the lowest, $18.53.

San Jose, Calif., has the highest attendance rate for MLS games, which is 2.3 times higher than in Orlando, Fla., the city with the lowest.

Main Findings

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Source: WalletHub

So how do these results compare to last year?

–Boston was ranked No. 1 as best large sports city. Not NYC.

–Ann Arbor was No. 1 last year for mid-size city. They now drop to 13th, even though Jim Harbaugh has the Wolverines as tough as they’ve ever been.

–From 4th to 33rd – a huge drop for West Point in small sports city.

Check out this year’s entire report at WalletHub.


Josh Helmuth is the editor of Crave Sports.

Photo: Getty