There are few corners of the city where you won’t see the bold red, black and gold flag of Atlanta United hanging. That pride in the city’s newish soccer team has made waves across the country, according to a new ranking.
»RELATED: Atlanta an All-Star soccer address - who would have guessed it?
The goalkeepers at the personal finance website WalletHub have taken a look across the national field at some of the most engaged fans, record-breaking attendance and best performing soccer teams in the nation to come up with its 2018 Best Cities for Soccer Fans ranking.
To determine where the top soccer cities fall on WalletHub’s list, analysts considered nearly 300 U.S. cities with either one college or professional soccer team across six divisions and examined each on 63 key metrics, including minimum season ticket prices, stadium capacity, best-performing MLS team and number of championship wins.
»RELATED: Photo flashback: The Chiefs were Atlanta’s first pro soccer team
The analysis was inspired by the increasing interest in what America’s international neighbors call football. The U.S. Women’s National Team’s record-breaking victory in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015. Since then, America’s fandom has spun into several new teams cropping up across the country, including Atlanta’s in 2016.
So, where did Atlanta United FC fall in the best cities for soccer fans ranking?
Atlanta took the No. 9 spot on the list, receiving a score of 37.55, based on Atlanta’s MLS, United Soccer League and Division I women’s soccer team rankings. Los Angeles took the No. 1 spot on the ranking, followed by Orlando, Florida, and Seattle, in second and third, respectively.
AJC’s Steve Hummer recently wrote a story on Atlanta’s growing prominence as a “soccer address.” Noting the significance of MLS holding its premier All-Star game in our fair city.
“Welcome to the new definition of what makes Atlanta a distinct sports town. For all those tired questions about this city’s capacity to rally behind its professional franchises, the heretofore foreign pursuit of kicking a ball into a net has provided a most surprising answer,” Hummer wrote.
»RELATED: Atlanta United fans share unspoken bond, love of the flag
Atlanta United has also posted some record-breaking attendance numbers, and fans of the team have been named the top sports fans in Atlanta in a recent AJC poll. In addition to the team’s professional prowess, the Atlanta United Foundation has spread good soccer cheer across the city by funding soccer fields at two MARTA stations, Five Points and West End.
Here are Wallet Hub’s Top 10 cities for soccer fans in the U.S.
- Los Angeles
- Orlando, Florida
- New York
- Salt Lake City
- Washington, D.C.
- Kansas City, Missouri