Friday, February 23, 2018

Eric Lindquist

NFL's smallest city deemed No. 1 for football fans

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    Fans at Lambeau Field in Green Bay cheer on their team in all kinds of weather.

    Staff file photo

With Super Bowl weekend upon us — and the big game just across the border in Minnesota — it’s a good time to reflect on football fans.

Specifically, what’s the best football city for fans?

One thing is clear after the debacle of two weeks ago: It’s not Philadelphia.

Sorry, Eagles fans, but hurling beer cans and insults at Minnesota Vikings fans in town for the NFC Championship takes you out of the running in my book. As far as I’m concerned, Philadelphia fans became a national embarrassment by showing off their false machismo in the streets outside Lincoln Financial Field. Save the competition for the players on the field.

Hopefully, the overzealous Eagles fans learned their lesson and we won’t hear reports of similar houliganism in the Twin Cities this weekend. 

The bad press generated by some Philly fans’ antics made me proud to be a backer of the Green Bay Packers. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard visiting fans at Lambeau Field comment on how nice Packers fans are and how they couldn’t recall ever receiving such a warm reception at a visiting stadium.

Even any “trash-talking” is usually just good-natured banter delivered with a smile.

With my pro-cheesehead bias on full display, it didn’t surprise me that Green Bay, by far the smallest National Football League city, topped WalletHub’s recently published list of best cities in the country for football fans. Green Bay (and Wisconsin by extension, I would argue) was followed, in order, by Pittsburgh, Dallas, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Glendale, Ariz., and, yes, Philadelphia.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, compared 243 cities with at least one college or professional football team using 21 metrics including number of teams, average ticket prices, number of championships, stadium capacity, attendance and performance level of teams over the past three seasons.

Making Green Bay’s position atop the overall standings even more impressive is that the city tied for last place in college football rank. It was buoyed by first-place rankings for pro football and for most accessible NFL stadiums.

Green Bay also tied with Pittsburgh in a ranking of most engaged NFL fans, as calculated by number of Twitter followers and Facebook “likes” on the team’s official accounts per capita. Next on the list was Boston and its devoted Patriots fans, a lucky few of whom are enjoying some Upper Midwestern hospitality (and frigid temperatures) this weekend in the Twin Cities.

Though such rankings are always up for debate, it was fun to see a neutral organization attempt to quantify what many of us in Wisconsin already know in our hearts: It’s good to be a Packers fan.

Contact: 715-833-9209, eric.lindquist@ecpc.com, @ealscoop on Twitter 

 


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