2021's Best Sports Cities Adam McCann, Financial Writer Nov 10, 2021

To say that Americans love sports is an understatement. It’s in our blood. We value sports as much for their personal and social benefits as for the thrill and drama of the game. In the U.S., 59% of all adults claim to be sports fans. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted sporting events across the U.S. in 2020, though, which led to a ratings plunge. The good news is that things are starting to get back to normal in 2021, and sports lovers can attend many events in person, though certain venues have stricter vaccination or mask requirements than others.

Americans spend a lot of money on sports every year. Despite the impact of the pandemic, the North American sports industry is expected to grow from a value of $71.1 billion in 2018 to $83.1 billion in 2023, with money coming from ticket and merchandise sales, media rights and sponsorship fees. That’s not mentioning the lucrative fantasy-sports market in North America with over 60 million players. And eSports, or competitive video games, is expected to cross $1 billion in global market value in 2021.

The increasingly mobile-oriented ways we consume sports and rising premium-seat demand are partly responsible for the significant industry growth. Today, Americans can read sports news on their phone or tablet and ditch the bleachers for ultra hi-def TVs that seem to get bigger every year. But many serious fans still prefer live action — and the best seats in the house. In response, sports venues are improving their facilities to enhance the in-person viewing experience.

In search of the best sports cities from the fan’s perspective, WalletHub compared 392 cities across more than 50 key metrics related to the five largest sports in the U.S.: football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer.

<iframe src="https://cdn.wallethub.com/wallethub/embed/15179/geochart-sportfan-2021.html" width="556" height="347" frameBorder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe><div style="width:556px;font-size:12px;color:#888;">Source: <a href="https://wallethub.com/edu/best-sports-cities/15179">WalletHub</a></div>