Today we reveal our rankings of the four-sport cities, and a summary of the best and worst markets in the other categories (one, two, & three-sports cities). Before the actual rankings, a couple of clarifying comments are in order. The key to our rankings is that we are looking at fan support after controlling for short term variations in team quality and market characteristics. Basically we create statistical models of revenues as a function of quality measures like winning percentage and market potential factors like population. This allows our results to speak how much support fans provide as if market size and winning rates were equal.
Using that way of measuring, Boston was No. 1 among the 12 markets in the U.S. that have franchises in the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. Philadelphia was No. 2.
The city in third place is likely going to generate Twitter complaints about how clueless we are, and how academics should stay away from sports. We rank the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul as having the third most supportive fans among the four-sport cities. Minneapolis/Saint Paul show great support of the Twins and solid support for the Vikings. The Wild also do surprisingly well in the NHL.
How could Minnesota finish in front of New York and Chicago? It’s because these cities don’t do a great job in terms of supporting all their teams. For example, The Brooklyn Nets perform poorly when market size is considered and the White Sox have very poor support on all metrics. We can hardly wait for the semi-literate Twitter attacks to commence.
We're No. 3! Discuss.