Atlanta, gotta think we’re a great sports town

Atlanta, the sports town.

With the Falcons soaring and the Hawks holding promise — not to mention the hot-stove talk about a Braves resurgence in the suburbs and the eternal interest in college football – it seems like the perfect time to see how we stack up against the nation's best cities for sports fans.

We've got great sports bars, great sports talk — hey, any honest ranking of sports towns would have us near the top, right?

And, lo!! Along come the list-obsessed folks at WalletHub with a ranking.

They used an intricate and revealing series of metrics – a virtual all-star collection of measures to see how each metro ranked, examining everything from the "performance level of the city's teams" to "average ticket price per game."

And let’s have a look at … uh-oh.

Not even in the top ten??? This calculation is clearly rigged – that's the word, isn't it? New York at the top, followed by Boston and Pittsburgh. Just seems like this list was put together by one of those elitist insiders – and see? WalletHub is based in Washington, D.C., after all.

The WalletHub report is here.

Oh, well. At least they put us right there on the cusp at number eleven.

And this is serious business, after all.

Nearly three-quarters of adults say they are sports fans, says WalletHub. And those fans spend, on average, nearly eight hours a week watching sports (and that’s an average, folks, so a lot of us are clearly way up there in double digits).

The sports industry take in about $60 billion in ticket and merchandise sales, media rights and sponsorship fees, WalletHub says, citing estimates that see that figure rising $10 billion per year.

(Plus fantasy-sports, which accounts for spending of $26 billion.)

But what about us? Can we break into that esteemed group? Can we get into the top ten? After all, we are sooooo close. Clearly, we are poised for a dramatic rise. And what would do it? What would catapult us up the list?

Ah, got it: A Falcon win in the Super Bowl, a Hawks trip to the finals, the Braves… okay, we'll save that hallucination for later. But give us an NFL championship, that would do it, for sure.

Atlanta: Best darned sports town in America.


Best big cities for sports:

1 New York

2 Boston

3 Pittsburgh

4 Los Angeles

5 Chicago

6 Philadelphia

7 Washington

8 Detroit

9 St. Louis

10 Denver


Source: WalletHub