2022’s Top Sports Cities in the United States

With the North American sports industry expected to reach an astronomical value of $83.1 billion in 2023, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2022’s Best Sports Cities in America, as well as accompanying videos and expert commentary.

To determine the cities where the game is always hot regardless of season, WalletHub compared 392 small to large cities across the five largest sports in the U.S.: football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer.

New York state was well represented with three cities taking high spots across largest, midsize and small cities.

Los Angeles, Calif., Boston, Mass., and New York, N.Y., claimed the first, second and third spots for large size sports cities, while Green Bay, Wis., Buffalo, N.Y., and Glendale, Ariz., came in first to third place, respectively, in midsize sports cities. Clemson, S.C., West Point, N.Y., and Fayette, Miss., took the first three spots in small sports cities.

Interesting sports facts as they relate to ticket prices, attendance and kindness and engagement.

  • Jacksonville, Florida, has the lowest average ticket price for an NFL game, $81.97, which is 1.9 times less expensive than in Las Vegas, the city with the highest at $153.47.
  • Atlanta has the highest attendance rate for MLS games, 103.45 percent, which is 6.1 times higher than in Chicago, the city with the lowest at 16.98 percent.
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, has the lowest average ticket price for an NBA game, $63.11, which is 3.2 times lower than in San Francisco, the city with the highest at $203.30.
  • NHL fans in Pittsburgh are 27.9 times friendlier and more engaged than their New York counterparts.
  • Phoenix has the lowest average MLB ticket price, $22.12, which is 2.8 times lower than in Boston, the city with the highest at $61.71.

To what extent do sports teams reflect the cities they call home?
“I believe that this is an actual thing. One that comes to mind is the Pittsburgh Steelers. The city of Pittsburgh is considered a tough, blue-collar town. The way that the Steelers play (and have played for years) is as a tough, blue-collar team. I believe that good team executives try to make their team resemble the city they play in. The Miami Dolphins this year are more of a flashy, speedy team. This resembles Miami itself, a flashy city where celebrities like to hang out. As a team executive, this is crucial to maintain your fan base, for them to purchase tickets and merchandise because they feel it is their team.”

Michael A. DeLong – Professor, Keiser University Flagship

— Jerry Del Priore


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