You don’t need any proof that Michigan is the greatest sports state in America. But here’s a little more, just in case. WalletHub recently ranked more than 300 American cities based on comprehensive studies and rankings of sports fandom and found that three Michigan cities rank among the best 11 for sports fans in the country.
East Lansing, home of Michigan State University, ranks No. 3, behind only Boston and Denver. Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan, ranks No. 8. Detroit is No. 11.
The only other state with even two teams in the top 11 is Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh fourth, Philadelphia 10th).
To get to this conclusion, WalletHub took its rankings for each of five sports — football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer — and assigned a weight to each ranking that “corresponds with the total percentage of adults in the U.S. who claim to follow that particular sport, according to the Global Sports Media Consumption Report."
For example, East Lansing is buoyed by a high ranking among football cities — No. 2, behind only Green Bay. Detroit ranks No. 7 among hockey cities. Each sport's rankings are determined by a number of factors, including team success, stadium accessibility, sports bars per capita, franchise value, ticket prices and viewership rankings.
Other notable findings from this study:
- Detroit ranks No. 9 among large cities (more than 300,000 people).
- Ann Arbor ranks No. 1 among midsize cities (100,000 to 300,000 people).
- East Lansing ranks No. 1 among small cities (fewer than 100,000 people).
- Detroit also ranks No. 13 among baseball cities. It's ranked 49th in basketball, 53rd in football and 163rd in soccer.
- East Lansing ranks 15th in basketball, 66th in baseball, 14th in hockey and 17th in soccer.
- Ann Arbor ranks 29th in football, 17th in basketball, 84th in baseball, 24th in hockey and 87th in soccer.
- More Michigan cities on the list: Kalamazoo 78th, Ypsilanti 93rd, Mt. Pleasant 94th, Rochester 200th, Big Rapids 298th, Houghton 302nd, Marquette 308th and Sault Ste. Marie 309th. (Great and all, but where is Grand Rapids?)
- The top football city: Green Bay, Wisc., home of the NFL's Packers.
- The top basketball city: Storrs, Conn., home of UConn men's and women's basketball.
- The top baseball city: St. Louis, Mo., home of MLB's Cardinals.
- The top hockey city: Pittsburgh, home of the NHL's Penguins.
- The top soccer city: Salt Lake City, Utah, home of MLS's Real Salt Lake.
Some of the data used in this study may still lead to subjective results, we admit. But WalletHub used many sources for its information, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the Team Marketing Report, the Nielsen Company, ESPN, Yelp, SportsBusiness Journal and more. So, if anything, at least this study is comprehensive.
Contact Brian Manzullo: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @BrianManzullo.