Boston prides itself on its rich sporting tradition and winning heritage, from the dynastic Bill Russell-led Celtics of the 50s and 60s, to the Big Bad Bruins of the early 70s, to the seemingly indefinite Brady-Belichick era—plus all the area’s success in college hockey and football, and some team called the “Red Sox.”
It’s no wonder personal finance social network WalletHub gave the Boston top honors in its list of the best cities for sports fans. (New York, meanwhile, was ranked seventh.)
Using 50 different metrics, including performance of the city’s team(s), average ticket price of a game, number of sports bars, and attendance rate, Wallet Hub ranked each city by sport, then assigned a weight assigned to each ranking corresponding with the total percentage of U.S. adults who claim to follow that particular sport, according to The Global Sports Media Consumption Report.
Boston ranked ninth in football, 11th in basketball, 21st in baseball, fifth in hockey, and 13th in soccer. Massachusetts was fairly well represented in WalletHub’s list, with Chestnut Hill (65), Amherst (66), Cambridge (205), Lowell (210), Worcester (230), Andover (318), Waltham (324), and Springfield (329) all placing in the field of 341.
“Tradition. Passionate but good-natured fans,” says Jonathan R. Wynn, assistant professor of sociology at UMass Amherst. “A well placed and welcoming arena that is an entertainment center (and management team) that hots an array of events for the local community.”
Oddly enough, Chestnut Hill—home of Jerry York’s Boston College Eagles—is ranked the second-best city for hockey fans, runner-up to Pittsburgh, whose team is reportedly for sale. This is particularly bittersweet for Boston University fans, who receive both vindication in their claim that BC isn’t really in Boston, as well as the crushing disappointment of being ranked behind the Eagles.
The worst place to be a sports fan in the United States? That’d be scenic Hackensack, New Jersey.
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