Study: Best cities for football fans are …

WASHINGTON — It can be tough being a Washington Redskins fan between name controversies, quarterback crises and disappointing losses. And now a study’s ranking of D.C. as a football-fan city doesn’t help either.

A WalletHub study of the best cities for football fans put D.C. at No. 30 on the list of 142 cities.

To determine the rankings, WalletHub analyzed 142 of the largest U.S. cities based on metrics such as the number of NFL and college football teams, the performance quality of the teams, the average ticket price and fan engagement through social media.

The best city for football fans is Green Bay, Wisconsin, the study found – and it’s no wonder: the Green Bay Packers have won 13 league championships — the most in NFL history — as well as nine NFL titles and four Super Bowl games.

Also, the Packers have the most accessible NFL stadium as well as the friendliest and engaged fans, WalletHub says.

So what makes a good sports city? David Reibstein, a professor at The University of Pennslyvania, says it’s not just about the team’s record.

“An easy answer is a city with winning teams, but I think it goes much beyond that. Part of the key is not having as much other activities/distractions going on,” Reibstein said to WalletHub.

“For example, Green Bay, (Wisconsin), is a great sports city. If you live there, it is the Packers and nothing else. Los Angeles, on the other hand, has had great teams and still not been that much of a rallying point, because of Hollywood and all the other distractions.”

One could make the same argument about D.C.,  a town with many distractions and other sports teams – the Nationals, the Wizards, the Mystics, the Capitals, D.C. United and the Kastles —  all competing for attention.

Cracking the top 20 is Baltimore, which came in at No. 17.

Also on the list are Annapolis, Maryland (No. 45); Blacksburg, Virginia (No. 64); College Park, Maryland (No. 67); Charlottesville, Virginia (No. 126); and Norfolk, Virginia (No. 134).

Sin City may have plenty of attractions, but not much appeal for football fans. WalletHub put Las Vegas at the bottom of the list at No. 142. It has the least friendly and engaged college football fans, the study found.

In case you were wondering, Super Bowl competitors New England Patriots, which plays games outside of Boston, ranked No. 9 and Seattle Seahawks’ hometown ranked No. 13.

View a map with the rankings for each of the 142 cities:

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Sarah Beth Hensley

Sarah Beth Hensley is the Digital News Director at WTOP. She has worked several different roles since she began with WTOP in 2013 and has contributed to award-winning stories and coverage on the website.

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