Not all cities are created equal, and some cities are certainly better than others when it comes to sports. The more major league sports teams a city has, the more a it has to offer to those who love the game. Additionally, the more successful a team, the happier its fans become. With this in mind, 24/7 Wall St. set out to identify the best cities for sports fans.
In order to decide which cities have the luckiest fans, we started with those that have at least two professional teams in or near the city. We then ranked each city based on the number of teams it has and the total number of sports the teams represented. We also factored in the popularity of the teams -- based on attendance and change in attendance -- the win-loss records of the teams in each city, and the number of championships each team won. (Click the gallery below.)
A good city for sports fans has to have lots of teams. And not just the number of teams matters, but also the diversity of sports they represent. A city has to have at least one team in each of the four major sports: hockey, baseball, football, and basketball. A city like Chicago, which has at least one team in each sport, is ranked higher than Los Angeles, which also has 6 sports franchises, but doesn't have an NFL team.
Arguably, nothing is more important to sports fans than winning. 24/7 awarded points to a city for each team that had a win-loss in the top 50 percent of its league. The New England Patriots earn Boston a point for having won three games for every one it lost over the last 10 seasons. Neither of New York's two basketball teams -- the Nets nor Knicks -- earned a point in this category, because their 10-season records are in the bottom half compared to the rest of the NBA. We also awarded points for each championship won by a team in the past 10 years.
Finally, a good community of fans is also necessary. We awarded points for cities where home game attendance increased significantly in the past 10 years. The Detroit Tigers, whose annual home attendance increase by more than 1 million fans between 2002 and 2011, earned a point. On the other hand, the St. Louis Cardinals' attendance declined, not earning the city a point, despite the fact that attendance in 2011 was higher than in Detroit. A city also ranked better if teams regularly sold at or above capacity over the course of the year.
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