We’re in the home-stretch before Major League Baseball pitchers and catchers report to spring training to prepare for another season of America’s national pastime. NewGeography’s Wendell Cox recently ranked the best baseball towns based on each market’s population compared to its team(s) attendance.
The top five cities on the list are all centrally located – Milwaukee tops the list, followed by St. Louis, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh. Cox notes that despite ranking as the best baseball town on the list, the Brewers didn’t come close to selling out every game. In 2015, the Brewers attracted the equivalent of 1.24 trips to the stadium per capita. This may be surprising, because the Brewers are nowhere near the top in terms of their capacity used during games (approximately 75%) or in their average attendance of 31,000, one-third short of the major league baseball leading Los Angeles Dodgers (46,000).
New York ranked last on the list, and rounding out the bottom five were Philadelphia, Miami, Atlanta, and Houston. New York, of course, has two teams, the Yankees in the Mets. The New York fans per capita figure is calculated by adding the attendance figure for its two teams, as is also the case in Los Angeles and Chicago with their two teams. But with a commuting shed of 24 million residents, even filling every seat would not have been enough to grant New York an exit pass from the bottom 5. The Yankees attracted 80% capacity crowds, while the Mets averaged 75%. Overall, New York averaged 0.24 fans per capita, approximately one-fifth that of baseball’s best town in 2015, Milwaukee.