Who Has The Best Sports City In America?

I’m sure you’ve had this debate before. Whether it’s at the cubicle, at the bar with your buddies, or in the comments section of some meaningless blog, we’ve all had the conversation of what is the best sports city in America.

Well after a team of researchers compiled mountains of data – which was actually me going through ESPN.com – I believe I have come up with the winner that will end the debate…at least for now.

Now to set this up I must explain a few parameters of how I came to this conclusion.

For starters, I only used cities that have at least three professional sports teams – there are 17 cities that fit the criteria. That leaves out cities such as Green Bay, San Francisco, Buffalo, Seattle, and Kansas City to name a few. Also, college teams were excluded; this is strictly for cities and areas with pro teams. Sorry alumni.

I also gave some teams that represent a state but are close enough to the metropolitan area a break and included them. For instance all four Minnesota teams play in Minneapolis. The Colorado Rockies are included in Denver. Texas Rangers for Dallas and Florida Panthers for Miami.

You get the idea.

I measured who’s the best by looking at the latest regular season standings from the four professional leagues, put the rank of each team with their corresponding city, added those numbers up and divided that number by the amount of teams each city has. Pretty simple

And according to the numbers, the best sports city in America is (drumroll)…Houston. That’s right H-Town takes the crown with a composite score of five.

Houston only has three professional sports teams. But as we currently sit, the Astros have the best record in baseball, the Texans finished eleventh in the NFL standings, and the Rockets finished with the third best record in the NBA. Not too shabby.

In second place was a city that is used to just coming up short, Washington D.C. The Capitals had the best record in the NHL, the Nationals are currently the third best team in baseball and the Wizards had a good season themselves not only making the playoffs but getting to the second round.

Oakland, Pittsburgh, and Atlanta round out the top five.

Detroit, however, falls near the bottom at 13 with a composite score of 18.25. Bringing up the rear was Philadelphia with a score of 24.25.

Here’s the complete list:

  1. Houston 5
  2. Washington D.C. 7.25
  3. Oakland 8.3
  4. Pittsburgh 10.6
  5. Atlanta 11.6
  6. Minneapolis 13.75
  7. New York 14.1
  8. Cleveland 15.3
  9. Dallas 15.5
  10. Tampa Bay 16
  11. Denver 16.25
  12. Chicago 16.4
  13. Detroit 18.25
  14. Miami 18.3
  15. Los Angeles 19.1
  16. Phoenix 20.25
  17. Philadelphia 24.25

The most fascinating part of this list is that there is no geographical pattern. Population and location don’t play a role in where the cities are ranked. I was surprised to see Minneapolis so high on the list but the Twins are off to a good start in the young MLB season.

In Detroit’s case, the Red Wings taking a tumble hurt their score dramatically as a rebuild is on the horizon. Who would’ve thought we would say that the Lions are the best team in the city? If the Tigers can finish the season strong that would certainly help the city’s sports situation. And the Pistons aren’t what they used to be.

Cleveland is in another interesting position.

Both the Indians and the Cavaliers are one of the best in their respective leagues. But, the Browns are the laughing stock of the NFL, which drops Cleveland to the middle of the pack. If the Browns moved out of the bottom third of the league and up to only 20th in the NFL, they would jump up into the top five on the list.

Of course this list will change as the baseball season plays out. But in the end, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, small or large market, you can still live the good sports life. You just need a good group of guys in your front office.

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