The Sporting News came out with its annual list of best sports cities and Gainesville checked in at No. 41. That’s pretty good when you consider we have no pro sports.
We finished ahead of Kansas City, Jacksonville, San Francisco and Seattle, all cities with NFL franchises. Kind of.
Finishing last among the 399 cities that were ranked was Auburn, N.Y. I’ll take the magazine’s word for it.
Pittsburgh was ranked No. 1 with Philly, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles filling out the top five. The highest-ranking city without a pro franchise was No. 38 Austin, Texas.
Interesting list, although Raleigh has an NHL team, the Carolina Hurricanes. Not sure if you’re counting hockey. What is the next highest non-pro town?
Thanks for the info Pat. I believe Raleigh does have the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team though. Any idea who the highest non-pro city is after Raleigh?
I can’t imagine how LA made it into the top 100, much less the top 5. The Lakers must pull a lot of weight, because I don’t think I’ve ever actually met a real-life Dodgers fan. (And are the Clippers even still in the NBA?)
Let me put it this way: The day after the FSU/UF game, just about 1/2 of the *state* of Florida is depressed and the other half is ecstatic.
The day after the UCLA/USC game, you can walk around LA for hours and not run into anyone that even knows there are college football teams in the *city*.
I’m just sayin’.
I can’t agree more with you, dvg. In terms of the atmosphere and fan density, Los Angeles is no match for Gainesville. I went to school at USC and had been to just one football game at the coveted coliseum. So disappointed I sold all the rest of my season tickets. When you can carry a normal conversation with your friend sitting in the heart of the students section in a close game, something is not right.
That been said, it’s a fan density thing, not everyone in LA goes to USC or UCLA, so why should they care? On the other hand, what do you do in Gainesville on an Autumn Saturday if not football? Absolutely (or close to) nothing! And it actually is a pretty cool thing that we care and are passionate about the same thing. To me, it feels surreal and magical.
Go Gainesville, Go Gators