With the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team qualifying for the FIFA World Cup this year, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2022’s Best Cities for Soccer Fans, as well as accompanying videos and expert commentary.
To find the best places for enjoying the world’s favorite sport, WalletHub compared nearly 300 U.S. cities with at least one college or professional soccer team across five divisions comprising 52 key metrics. The data set ranges from minimum season-ticket price for a game to stadium accessibility to number of championship wins.
With professional teams such the Major League Soccer’s (MLS) New York Red Bulls and New York City Football Club (NYCFC) in NYC, the Big Apple came in at the seventh spot, while Los Angeles, Calif., topped the list. Seattle, Wash., was right behind La La land in second place. Portland, Ore., was in third and Kansas City, Mo., and Washington D.C. came in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
While youth soccer continues to thrive across the country, what is the long-term outlook for professional soccer in the US?
“Despite the issues faced by both men’s and women’s soccer in the US, the long-term outlook for professional soccer in the US does appear optimistic, said Adam R. Cocco, assistant professor at the University of Louisville. “The MLS announced a long-term, multi-billion-dollar broadcast rights partnership with Apple earlier this year. The average age of the USMNT is still quite young, with many key players set to hit their prime for the 2026 World Cup being primarily hosted in the US. This event should provide a lift to the sport of soccer in the US in a similar way to the 1994 World Cup. The USWNT is going through a bit of a transition phase at the moment but still has many exciting young prospects breaking into the national team picture, such as Trinity Rodman, Midge Purce, and Mallory Pugh. The ultimate success of women’s professional soccer in the US will largely rest upon the long-term fallout from the Yates report.”
— Jerry Del Priore