From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:
It’s always fascinating to see what cities across America are most passionate about their sports. What hubs — large, midsize and small — possess the fanatics who follow their teams with the utmost of emotion?
WalletHub last month released its report on 2021’s Best Sports Cities, as well as accompanying videos and expert commentary.
WalletHub compared 392 small to large cities across the five largest sports in the U.S.: football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer — arguably the five most popular sports in this country.
n In the best large sports cities, the winner was Boston (Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, Celtics and Revolution). Los Angeles was the runner-up, followed by New York, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Denver, Washington, Dallas, Chicago and Miami.
n Thanks to the Bills Mafia passionate fan base, Buffalo was tabbed as the best midsize sports city. With Aaron Rodgers and the NFC North Division-leading Packers providing the anchor, Green Bay finished in second place, followed by Salt Lake City, Orlando, Fla., Glendale, Ariz., Durham, N.C., Ann Arbor, Mich., Baton Rouge, La., South Bend, Ind., and Norman, Okla.
n With the former college football national champion Tigers leading the way, Clemson, S.C., was voted as the best small sports city. West Point, with Army football driving the bus, was the runner-up, followed by Fayette, Miss., East Lansing, Mich., Tuscaloosa, Ala., Hanover, N.H., State College, Pa., Buies Creek, N.C., Stanford, Calif., and Morgantown, W.Va.
I have no issues with these rankings though some of the top cities in the midsize and small classes are primarily buoyed solely by one sport.
Charlotte is the place to go to watch an NBA game at an affordable price. The average ticket price for an Hornets’ game is $32.05. San Francisco, featuring the Warriors, has the highest at $125.43.
I know the Pirates are far from anything special, but a ticket for a game at PNC Park is the lowest amongst the 30 MLB teams at an average price of $20.75; by contrast, Boston has the highest at $60.09.
If you want to watch Notre Dame football on a season- ticket plan in South Bend, it’s going to cost you. The price is $1,150 — the highest amongst all FBS and FCS schools.
To view the full report and a city’s rank, visit: https://wallethub.com/edu/best-sports-cities/15179
n Richie Rich’s Top 10 rankings in the NFL: 1. Packers; 2. Cards; 3. Pats; 4. Bucs; 5. Chiefs; 6. Cowboys; 7. Titans; 8. Chargers; 9. Rams; 10. 49ers.
Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at email@example.com